This paper aims to provide a backdrop for the Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes (WHATT) theme issue on tourism in Sri Lanka.
This paper is written in the context of a strategic question: “how might post-war Sri Lanka develop inbound tourism?” A narrative approach is taken to cover a period of 46 years.
26 years of war affected tourism in Sri Lanka resulting in low demand, low prices and a reputation as a cheap destination. Turnaround came when the war ended in 2009. In 2012 Sri Lanka passed two milestones in its tourism history by emerging as a “million tourist destination” and a “billion dollar export income earner”. Sri Lanka is now aiming to attract 2.5 million tourists by 2016.
Tourism in Sri Lanka has the potential to emerge as a major export income earner. To further develop tourism, Sri Lanka must develop a long-term tourism master plan with inputs from all stake holders. Authors suggest that such a master plan is needed to achieve a target of 4.5 million tourist arrivals by 2024.
This paper learns from the past and plans for the future. A former Chairman and a former Director of the national tourism authority of Sri Lanka joined hands with an international hospitality and tourism educator to co-write this paper to advocate for a holistic plan in further development of tourism in Sri Lanka.
Samaranayake, H., Lantra, N. and (Chandi) Jayawardena, C. (2013), "Forty six years of organised tourism in Sri Lanka (1966-2012)", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 5 No. 5, pp. 423-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-05-2013-0026Download as .RIS
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