In an attempt to make the Research Division of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the Main source of Tourism Data in Sri Lanka, SLTDA signed an MOU with Palladium Group SL (Pvt) Limited which is the local entity managing the affairs of Market Development Facility in Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Australian Government.
It is expected that this will pave the way to transform SLTDA as the leading agency for tourism-related research and statistics.
Identification and prioritization of research are a contemporary requirement for the tourism industry of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, it is expected that this MoU will bring fruitful results to the industry. At the initial stage, it is expected to broaden and develop the research framework for the industry in line with the Tourism Strategic plan 2017-2020 and Tourism Vision 2025.
A key aspect of a successful tourism industry is the ability to recognize and deal with change across a wide range of key factors, and the way they interact.
In the global context, the tourism sector is changing and vast changes are sweeping across the industry reflecting changing consumer values, political forces, environmental changes and the explosive growth of information and communication technology.
The challenge for tourism stakeholders in both the private and public sectors is to account for these changes pro-actively to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage for their organizations.
“The research areas to be explored for an evidence-based decision-making process are vast, given the umbrella of stakeholders involved in this industry. In the absence of data and information to back decisions, tourism organizations must gamble on the accuracy of their decisions to allocate resources today to maintain/achieve competitive advantage for their organizations tomorrow. In this context, it is critical that real-time data, as well as global/regional projections are available to the SLTDA as well as the industry at large in order to make informed decisions”, said Johanne Jayaratne, Chairman, SLTDA.
With 2.3 million arrivals in 2018, tourism is a growing sector in Sri Lanka with a contribution of 5% to GDP. It is the third-highest foreign exchange earner for the country, preceded by workers remittance and textiles and garments. The Tourism Strategic Plan 2017- 2020 envisages the arrivals to grow and to retain its position as the top exchange earner of the economy.