By Charumini de Silva
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have launched an e-survey to engage stakeholders towards formulating a National Tourism Policy.
The multi-lingual survey is aimed at the private and public stakeholders, as well as civil society, with the objective of identifying major points of agreement and disagreement, to facilitate the process of conciliation and validation of the major orientations of the future public tourism policy.
This is part of the national roadmap being developed collaboratively by the UNDP, SLTDA, other UN agencies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and World Tourism Organization (WTO), development partners such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Australia and other key stakeholders.
The e-survey (the English version is accessible via http://bit.ly/NTPSL_E) includes questions relating to policy objectives, structures, roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders in the tourism value chain in Sri Lanka.
Industry sources said the National Tourism Policy is intended to catalyse the development of a framework to support the development of a new strategic plan and vision for tourism 2021-2024. The focus is on ‘Putting People First: Building a More Resilient Tourism Sector in Sri Lanka.’
The policy will comprise a set of rules, regulations, guidelines, directives, objectives and development/promotion strategies, which provide a framework for collective and individual decisions directly affecting long-term tourism development and daily activities within a destination.
Tourism is a vital economic sector for Sri Lanka, accounting for 5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), directly employing 250,000 and indirectly up to two million persons. It is one of the worst impacted socio-economic sectors from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UNDP has been working with the Tourism Ministry and SLTDA – the Government authority tasked with planning, development, regulation, and policy implementation of tourism in the country – over the past few months to revive and build a more resilient tourism sector in Sri Lanka.