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Sri Lanka, officially known as Ceylon is situated in the Indian Ocean off the southern tip of India. It is an island state 432 kilometer long and 224 kilometers broad with a coastline of 1340 kilometer. Its coastal belt of level land rises to 2524 meters in the cardinal cragged country. Because of its propinquity to the equator, and being a little island Sri Lanka enjoys an mean temperature of 30A°C and 28A°C in the cardinal Highlandss all the twelvemonth unit of ammunition.

The south western portion of Sri Lanka receives heavy rainfall from May to September, whilst the north E is wet during November to January. The moisture conditions was ideal for the growing of alcoholic evergreen tropical woods, peculiarly in the south West and the cardinal cragged parts. The exuberant flora tends to be of temperate nature for ground of its lift in the cardinal cragged parts and the woods and jungles provide a home ground for many species of animate beings and birds.

The geographical place and characteristics of the island of Sri Lanka were the determiners of the potencies for the growing of touristry in this state. The Sun, sea and 100s of kilometers of good beaches, exuberant green woods with its home grounds, stat mis and stat mis of green tea and gum elastic plantations, its many mountains, woods, rivers and waterfalls of scenic beauty provides the natural resources to transform Sri Lanka into a tourer oasis.

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Sri Lanka is besides a land of people of diverse cultural and cultural backgrounds such as Sinhala, Tamils, Muslims and other smaller cultural groups following Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Christian religions. The diverse population provides a assortment of traditions and imposts that enrich the state ‘s civilization. The people of Sri Lanka are by and large friendly, and welcome any foreign visitant with a wide smiling, regard and heat.

Adding to this singular combination, Sri Lanka ‘s tourer ‘s attractive forces include many sites rich in cultural heritage in the north cardinal portion of the Island. The ancient metropoliss of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, the Dambulla Cave Temple, the Sacred City of Kandy and the Ancient City and Fort of Galle have been inscribed by the UNESCO in its World ‘s Cultural Heritage List. The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka and the Singharaja Forest Reserves in the South West lowland are inscribed by the UNESCO in its World ‘s Natural Heritage List.

Nature and Scope of the Sri Lankan Tourism Industry:

Traditionally, Sri Lankan economic system depended on agricultural exports such as tea, gum elastic, coconuts and other spices for its foreign exchange net incomes and the potency of touristry to its economic system was non realised until the mid 19 1960ss.

The Ceylon Tourist Board was established in 1966 and one-year statistics on the Island ‘s tourer industry are published by the Board. In 1966, the entire figure of tourer reachings in Sri Lanka was a mere 18,969. Table 1 below illustrates that tourer reachings increased manifold making a sum of 321,780 in 1980.

This upward tendency peaked at 407,230 in the twelvemonth 1982 and the undermentioned twelvemonth saw a diminution in reachings to 337,530. The old ages that followed saw a downward tendency or merely a moderate addition. Tourist reachings even late as 2008 and 2009 remained sulky at 438,475 and 447,890 severally. The twelvemonth 2010 saw a sudden rush to a astonishing 654,476 and unbelievable addition of 206,586 in a individual twelvemonth[ 1 ]. Sri Lanka Tourism expects 700,000 tourers in 2011 and this appears to be a realistic mark for ground that the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau celebrated the reaching of the 250,000th tourer to see this twelvemonth on 21.04.2011.[ 2 ]

Table 1

Tourism Statistics – Sri Lanka

Year

Tourist Arrivals

Receipts ( US $ -million )

Employment

1966

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2009

2010[ 3 ]

18,969

46,247

103,204

321,780

257,456

297,888

403,101

400,414

509,310

447,890

654,476

1.3

3.6

22.4

110.7

82.2

132.0

225.4

252.8

362.3

326.3

497.4

12,078

23,848

47900

54,533

59,914

84,163

91,063

125,004

124,970

( Beginning: Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Annual Statistical Reports, 2000/2009 )

The slow growing of the touristry industry in the late 1960ss and 1970ss can be attributed to the restrictive patterns of the province such as foreign exchange controls and deficiency of inducements for foreign investing. Relaxation of these financial and investing policies by 1977 and institutional promotion advancing touristry in the states abroad led to a crisp addition in tourer reachings by 1980. The communal perturbations of July 1983 dealt a definite blow to the flow of tourer as is apparent from a 17.2 % bead of tourer reachings from the old twelvemonth. This bead is the norm for the whole twelvemonth and in existent footings the lessening is far greater as the traffic was affected merely after the public violences in July. The drawn-out war between the separationists and the Sri Lankan forces for a one-fourth of a century had a direct long term inauspicious consequence on tourer reachings in Sri Lanka.

Tourist reachings declined after 1983 and between 1986 and 1989 they were appreciably below the 200,000 grade. However, in the old ages that followed tourer reachings showed a modest addition as the struggle zone was confined to the North and East and security state of affairs improved in the remainder of the state. The sign language of a Peace Accord between the separationists and the Government in February 2002 lasted until 2006. Tourist reachings improved during this period, but the Tsunami of December 2004 caused desolation non merely to so many lives but besides to many tourer resorts in the South West and the East. This caused a impermanent diminution in tourer reachings but the industry shortly recovered from its effects. The stoping of the war in May 2009 put an terminal to this downward tendency and in the twelvemonth 2010, tourer reachings increased by 54.7 % over the old twelvemonth.

Apart from the fluctuating tendency, tourer reachings besides reveal a seasonal form as is apparent from Table II. This form is largely dependent on the climatic seasons of the tourer markets and their finish and evidently these factors remain reasonably changeless. The tallness of the “ Tourist Season ” in Sri Lanka is from November to March. This is the winter season in the Northern hemisphere, where most of Sri Lankan tourer markets lie and people populating in those parts wish to get away the rough winter to finishs like Sri Lanka. The South West monsoonal season that brings heavy rains to the Central Highlands and to the south West of Sri Lanka in May to September is good past to co-occur with the tourer season and this serves as an ideal tourer finish. July and August besides see an addition and this mid period is frequently referred to as the “ mini tourer season ” . Nevertheless, the sea, sand and beaches in the E seashore, and the ancient metropoliss in the north cardinal part enjoy warm and cheery conditions during the moisture season in the South West, therefore doing Sri Lanka an ideal tourer finish all the twelvemonth unit of ammunition.

Table II

Seasonality of Tourist Traffic: 2008

Calendar month

Number of reachings

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

56,900

40551

38,049

29747

31140

27960

32982

30672

29259

35,103

36901

48,925

( Beginning: Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority )

The chief market for tourer traffic to Sri Lanka is the European states, closely followed by Asia. Together, they accounted for 82.7 % of the tourer reachings in the twelvemonth 2009[ 4 ]. India produced the largest individual tourer market followed by the United Kingdom. The Western European Markets were really much stronger than the East European opposite numbers and in Asia, Japan and China provided a just portion. The other subscribers to the market are Australasia 5.8 % , North America 5.6 % and Mid East 5.3 % . Sri Lanka is a inexpensive tourer finish because of its weaker currency and for India ; its propinquity may be an added ground for the big figure of tourer to see Sri Lanka.

The major factors for tourers choose Sri Lanka as their finish is its clime, natural scenery, beaches, cultural attractive forces and friendly people. The Research Division of the SLDA[ 5 ]conducted a study of going foreign tourers at the Colombo Airport between September 2008 and February 2009, the findings of which were published on their web site.[ 6 ]

About 81 % of the tourers stated that the major intent of their visit was holiday whilst about 13 % came for concern intents. The first pick of the visitants was sun and beach for 59 % and historic sites for 11 % of them. The most popular topographic point of attractive force was Colombo ( 65 % ) and other topographic points in order of popularity were Kandy ( 65 % ) , South West Coast Beaches ( 48 % ) , Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage ( 37 % ) , Sigiriya ( 37 % ) , Dambulla ( 32 % ) and the Hill Country ( 30 % ) . Sight seeing and jaunts were the most popular activity engaged by 58 % of the respondents followed by sea bathing 53 % , Sun bathing 52 % , shopping 52 % and swimming in the pool 51 % . Yala National Park was the most visited National Park and 62 % of the respondents were interested in elephants and 11 % interested in Birds. This study is consistent with the tourer merchandises of sand, sea and beaches and bundle Tourss of sight visual perception, jaunts to National Parks, Botanical Gardens, National Zoos and Museums, ancient metropoliss of all right architecture and pictures, wild life, vegetations, zoologies, and varied colorful spiritual festivals are offered by the industry. Please see Table III, below:

Table III

Percentage Distribution of Tourists by intent of visit

2000/2009

Aim

2000

2005

2009

Pleasure

Business

Visiting Friends and Relatives

Religious and Cultural

Others

90.1

4.8

2.1

1.7

1.3

69.6

16.9

8.0

1.0

4.5

80.0

8.6

5.2

2.0

4.3

( Beginning: Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Annual Statistical Report, 2009 )

Another important characteristic of the touristry Industry is the increasing portion of its part to the state ‘s economic system. Tourism that earned a mere 1.6 million US dollars in 1966 increased its grosss to an unbelievable 497.4 million US dollars in 2010. Please see Table 1. The grosss from this sector had a singular uninterrupted growing and in 1995 touristry became Sri Lanka ‘s 4th largest Foreign Exchange earner. Since, it maintained its 4th topographic point but slipped back to sixth topographic point in 2007. In 2010 touristry regained its place to the 4th topographic point.

Similarly, hotel room capacity excessively increased from a mere 720 in 1966 to 15,270 by the terminal of December 2010[ 7 ]. Tourism sector that provided direct and indirect employment to 12,078 people in 1970 increased its portion of employment chances to 124,970 work forces and adult females in 2009. Please see Table 1.

Cardinal factors act uponing the demand and growing of touristry in Sri Lanka:

Culture:

Culture is alone to every state and it shapes a state ‘s individuality. The most outstanding characteristic common to all the multi ethno spiritual civilizations in the Island is the colorful nature of their festivals. These provide the tourers a alone chance to witness an array of colorful traditions, imposts and festivals celebrated round the twelvemonth. These festivals, having expansive and elegant dances and music are one of the top tourer attractive forces and 4.1 % of the tourers were classified as spiritual and cultural visitants[ 8 ].

A state ‘s civilization is reflected by the usage of art, architecture, sculptures and memorials. The ancient metropoliss of the north cardinal part and Kandy are a treasure trove of ancient pictures and architecture that wonders even the modern society is another of import attractive force. In the study referred to elsewhere, 11 % of the respondents stated that historic sites were there first pick of their vacation. It may be noted that the adjustment room capacity in ranked constitutions in the Ancient Cities was 2,679 and the tenancy rate in 2009 was 44.4 % . ( Table IV below ) .

Table IV

Accommodation Capacity ( Rooms ) in ranked Constitutions in 2009

And it ‘s Regional Distribution

Resort Regions

Room Capacity

Occupancy Rate

Colombo City

Greater Colombo

South Coast

East Coast

Hill Country

Ancient Cities

Northern Region

3,190

2,494

4,940

230

928

2,679

57.8 %

52.7 %

49.6 %

37.8 %

42.2 %

44.4 %

All Regions

14,461

47.4 %

( Beginning: Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Annual Statistical Report, 2009 )

Further, the Sri Lankan people, likely influenced by their spiritual beliefs, lead a simple manner of life filled with felicity and humbleness. They have a great sense of grasp and cordial reception is one of the outstanding features of the civilization. This makes Sri Lankans one of the friendliest states in the universe. The study referred to in the old paragraph revealed that the most outstanding tourer attractive force of the state was `friendly and nice people` .

Globalization:

In a little state of merely 64,744 sq. kilometer and a population of 21 million, the domestic market is really undistinguished, go forthing touristry industry no alternate but to look planetary. The analysis in its entireness refers to the international markets and within the significance of the WTO definition, international tourers are considered as people who travel and stay in topographic points outside their usual state of abode for intents of leisure and concern. Thus the factor of globalization in the rating of a state ‘s touristry industry becomes inevitable. The tourer markets of Sri Lanka as of any other state are spread all over the universe, frequently 1000s of stat mis apart. The present twenty-four hours travelers need information on the tourer merchandises, clime, cultural heritage etc. , of the intended state of visit. The lone manner to carry the travelers to take a finish is by promotion in all the possible markets. This would affect promotion through imperativeness, diaries, wireless Stationss, telecasting webs and publicity by the state ‘s embassadors on a planetary graduated table.

Increased figure of present twenty-four hours tourers arrive on ‘package vacations ‘ arranged by Tour Operators and persuasion and facilitation semen from both sides. Increased figure of reachings demands intricately planned agreements to get by with attending on varied affairs such as in-migration, imposts, exchange, wellness, security, safe and comfy stay of international criterions, set a set circuit, set itinerary etc. and the facilitation procedure, needfully has to be undertaken by Tour Operators in the states of market and their opposite numbers in Sri Lanka.

Legislation:

The importance of touristry to the Sri Lankan economic system was recognised merely by the mid 19 1960ss. The volume of reachings was so low to supply any inducement to the private sector to put in the development of the touristry sector. The authorities of Sri Lanka hence, had to acquire involved to kick get down the touristry industry. Whilst recognizing the economic advantages of touristry development, the authorities was cognizant of the possible inauspicious effects, uncontrolled developments can hold on society and the environment and the demand for the development to take topographic point in a planned, regulated and coordinated mode.

Institutional agreements for the “ active encouragement, publicity and development ” of the tourer industry were made for the first clip by the creative activity of the Ceylon Tourist Board and the Hotels Corporation by two Acts of Parliament, the Tourist Board Act No. 10 of 1966 and the Tourist Development Act No. 14 of 1968. Whilst the Tourist Board was charged with the duty for the ordinance and control of the touristry industry, the Hotels Corporation operated a concatenation of medium and little graduated table hotels around the state in competition with the private sector.

The Act empowered the Tourist Board to promote, promote and develop touristry in general footings but the bureau was non structured with powers to guarantee sustainable development and for the preservation of environment. This led to haphazard development of tourer resorts and installations. The Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005 created the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority and empowered it to ease the planning and execution of policies associating to the touristry industry and other related industries and besides to modulate and supervise it.

Therefore, statute law played a cardinal function in the development of the touristry industry in Sri Lanka whilst increasingly loosen uping all restrictive patterns for private investings and guaranting the developments preserve and protect the environment.

Management of physical and Human Resources:

Sri Lanka is cognizant of the fact that physical resources should be used carefully to make a positive and balanced image to promote tourers to see, remain longer and pass more. With the figure of tourer in head, the authorities gave attractive bundles of inducements to the private sector which led to mindless development of resources by some developers for their immediate economic benefit without consideration of the demand for sustainable development. This caused jobs such as ecological instability, resource depletion and environmental pollution. With the inducements provided the private sector reacted efficaciously by supplying hotel installations disregarding environmental considerations. Consequently, hotels sprung up in near propinquity to the tourer attractive forces such as beaches, memorials, and wild life Parkss. Particularly in the West seashore of Sri Lanka, where most of the beach resorts are located, hotels have been built without sufficient buffer zones with no allowance for sea eroding. This has resulted in the narrowing of the beach belt and the built up countries are an oculus sore to the natural beauty and tranquility of the beaches. The creative activity of the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority with new powers in 2005 is designed to rectify the environmental effects of the development installations and it is a positive measure towards sustainable development.

The Tourism Development Authority is besides entrusted with the undertaking of developing human resources for the industry through the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotels Management as a section of the Authority. This institute is the premier institute in Sri Lanka to develop immature work forces and adult females in the field of cordial reception and travel. In order to ease trainees from all parts of the island, and to run into the increasing demand for professionally trained staff at all degrees of the industry, five provincial schools have been set up. Over many old ages, the institute has provided extremely trained and motivated forces to run into the demands of the local and international hotel and touristry operators in the state.