By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is planning to attract 5 million tourists, including 2.5 million high-end visitors, contributing to the country’s economic growth under the government’s new tourism strategy: ‘Visit Sri Lanka’ , President Ranil Wickremesinghe divulged.
The President said this while addressing the ‘Bocuse d’Or 2023’ competition and awards ceremony where he announced the government’s new tourism strategy, ‘Visit Sri Lanka’ which is set to launch in the upcoming months, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that the government will be unveiling a new tourist plan called ‘Visit Sri Lanka’ that will be released in the upcoming months. He claimed the proposal is in the final stages of development and would be made public as soon as it is complete.
The government aims to bring in 5 million tourists, of whom 2.5 million will be high-end visitors, President Wickremesinghe said while emphasizing the industry as a significant economic driver.
According to Indian estimates, Sri Lanka can host up to 10 million tourists, of whom most will be tourists from Asian and the Indian Ocean region, he continued.
Now, if you’re looking at 5 million tourists or 10 million tourists, there have to be different types of tourism. And one that we can do well is culinary tourism. And that’s what we should focus on.
Not merely in our hotels, but any place. And if you’re having culinary tourism, remember, bulk is going to come from Asia. So there has to be fusion food from different parts of Asia, not only Europe. That’s what we should focus on., he pointed out.
Transformation of the tourism industry is required to make Sri Lanka competitive in the global travel market place and the government has recognized the potential in promoting the country as a tropical nation with a diverse culinary style. Hence attention will be given to develop the culinary tourism in the country, the President said.
The government is prepared to launch a Culinary School in collaboration with the private sector, the travel industry, and the hotel industry, the President added, noting that there is a need to train more personnel in the hospitality field, particularly in culinary tourism.
Attention will also be paid to aid private Culinary Schools in accomplishing this task, he added.Therefore, I think we must now train more and more personnel in the hospitality field, especially in the field of tourism and culinary tourism.
So let’s get ready for it. I have been talking with some of my planners and others, and we feel, firstly, we have to upgrade our hotel school, and it must become a genuine hotel school.
But more than that, together with the private sector, the travel industry, the hotel industry, the government is prepared to start a culinary school just for that, for large numbers.
There is a good future. Let’s train more and more people, and let’s all get used to it. Not merely in hotels, but the time will come when most of you will be running restaurants or supplying food. And that’s what the trade has to be. Services have taken over he emphasized.