Step forward for tourism boost:
New Tourism Act hailed
Stakeholders of the leisure industry hailed the decision taken to
implement the new Tourism Act with effect from October 1.
“This is a piece of legislation the industry was waiting for a long
time and it will create better working relationship between the
government bodies and the private sector” said the President of the Sri
Lanka Tourist Hotels Association, Hiran Cooray.
Speaking to the ‘Daily News Business’ he said that this is a very
positive move initiated by the government to develop the industry.
The new Tourism Act (No. 38 of 2005) will come into operation with
effect from October 01 as per the gazette notification published on
August 23 and accordingly, the Tourism Development Authority will be
President of Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators, Dirk Grigson said that
the move to implement the act would have far reaching positive
developments to the country. “We must thank both the Minister and the
Government for the initiative taken to go ahead with it,” he said.
“Private and government sector partnerships are effectively carried
out in countries such as Singapore which could boast of mass development
in tourism,” he said.
Hotelier Anura Loku- hetty said that if the act is implemented and
coordinated constructively it would help towards developing the
“The industry can easily become the number one foreign exchange
earner through the proper implementation of the Act,” he said. The ‘Sri
Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau’ will be a new institution set up to
undertake tourism marketing and promotion.
Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, George Michael said
that they would now be in a position to reclaim the Tourism CESS.
An accumulated amount of Rs. 750 m is still lying in the Government
He said that the model of the act is designed similar to the
Singapore model, which proved very productive.
He said, “This is only a decentralising of power which is the need of
the hour,” he said.
There is a committee to monitor the progress of the implementation of
the Act on instructions of the Tourism Minister, and legal implications
if any are to be addressed in the form of amendments to the Act.
“The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau will continue to function while the
Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management will be set up under
the New Act shortly,” he said.