SRI LANKA’S TOURISM BOOM
EXCLUSIVE NATIONWIDE OPINION POLL
Sri Lanka Tourism gets the thumbs up
Sift through the economic debris that engulfed our island-nation in recent times and there’s a shining star… in tourism. Indeed, the numbers say it all and unlike the questions that are being asked about the authenticity of official statistics released by you know who, Sri Lanka Tourism is being lauded for showing its mettle. Likewise, the Government’s efforts to promote Sri Lanka as an ideal tourist destination are being applauded by the public.
An exclusive nationwide survey conducted by TNS Lanka for LMD reveals that 82 per cent of respondents believe that Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is enjoying boom times. The significant increase in tourist arrivals is being attributed to the end of the war that ravaged the island for almost 30 years.
Being a ‘strategically located country rich with scenic as well as historic landscapes and ample natural resources’ is cited by 89 per cent of poll participants as being amongst the prime reasons for the revival of tourism. That said, only two-thirds have faith in the ambitious targets set by the Government – because, a majority of this group says, state-run programmes rarely see the light of day.
The reaction to our question as to whether the benefits of the upsurge in tourism are trickling down to all industry personnel is split evenly between those who say they are, are not and don’t know. Amongst the reasons given for answering this question in the negative is that ‘small enterprises are overlooked while fraud and corruption
are dragging the industry down…’
Not surprisingly perhaps, the ‘erosion of cultural values’ is the most negative aspect of a higher number of inbound travellers gracing our shores – 27 per cent of those spoken to say so. The use of drugs, spread of disease and the scourge of child labour are among the other drawbacks, according to TNS Lanka’s survey results. The condition of our roads – yes, despite the upgrades that are underway – and the need to improve our product offering are high on the list of priorities, whilst more than 10 per cent say that ‘security’ must be improved… in peacetime.
– LMD Business Desk
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