SLTDA
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

Our Focus & Commitment

Mahinda Chintana

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa

The Honourable Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected as Sri Lanka’s fifth President in 2005. A lawyer, human rights activist, former Government Minister and Prime Minister of the 13th Parliament of Sri Lanka, he is dedicated to bringing in peace and economic prosperity to all the communities in Sri Lanka, ushering in the future while upholding the traditions of the past.

His vision is to change Sri Lanka, to be a modern state whilst fostering the national heritage and culture with peaceful co-existence among the communities of the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others, instilling economic growth and prosperity; and maintaining a friendly relationship with all the nations.

In keeping with his goals and aspirations for a better Sri Lanka, the President developed the long term development programme called the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’. The programme underwent an intensive consultative process involving the sectoral Ministries and other relevant Government agencies.

The Mahinda Chinthana and Tourism

Tourism is a vital area in the Mahinda Chinthana policy framework. It has been identified as capable of effectively driving the country’s socio-economic development. The programme’s vision for the tourism sector is to make Sri Lanka the foremost leisure destination in the South Asian Region. The programme believes the human resources and natural and cultural endowments, values and ethos will be fundamental in transforming Sri Lanka into a centre of excellence and offer tourists, the highest values of authentic experiences in its unique setting.

Key Objectives Include

  1. To achieve 2.0 million tourist arrivals by the year 2016.
  2. Target the upscale Free Independent Travellers (FITS), who are comparatively high spenders.
  3. Make tourism Sri Lanka’s third largest foreign exchange earner
  4. Transform tourism to become the fastest job creator and help reduce the unemployment levels.

The Mahinda Chinthana Policy Framework

The Government of Sri Lanka is committed to ensuring a controlled and planned development of tourism is carried out. High priority will be given towards sustainable tourism development, which involves cleaner, wholesome production, protection of indigenous flora and fauna as well as archaeological and cultural treasures.

The programme hopes to move the industry from mass tourism to concentrated marketing, particularly on high income earners. In order to promote upscale tourism, market segmentation and diversification will be carried out. The diversified segments would include nature tourism, adventure tourism, agri-tourism, culture tourism, community tourism, sports tourism, eco tourism, and wellness tourism. The targeted markets include Japan, China, Korea and Australia.

The Sri Lankan Government will be primarily involved in providing a policy environment conducive to the private sector to operate all tourism services. It will also act as a facilitator and regulator at the national level.

Moreover, the Government will provide attractive incentives to attract the local and foreign investors. Project approving procedures will be simplified and relevant stakeholder agencies will be brought under a strong network for purposes of speedy investor facilitation.

The Mahinda Chinthana is committed to ensuring that strict laws and regulations are set out by the Central Environment Authority, Wildlife Department, CCD, UDA, Department of Immigration etc, in order to ensure the proper compliance with the standards and specifications.

Domestic Tourism

The Mahinda Chinthana will focus on developing Sri Lanka’s fast emerging domestic tourism sector. Providing low cost holidays with substantially high quality accommodation facilities will be the central focus. Developing lesser known attractions will be another focus point of the programme.

Strategy

The Mahinda Chinthana has developed a lucrative strategy that will be used to achieve forecasts. Key highlights of the plan are as follows;

  1. Develop Sri Lanka as a regional hub in the tourism industry
  2. The Government hopes to develop the Arugambay, Hambanthota and Kalpitiya areas in addition to the Dedduwa, Galle, Panama and Negombo areas. The resorts will host varied activities and offer concessions for both the international and local tourists.
  3. Resorts Development
  4. The Government hopes to develop the Arugambay, Hambanthota and Kalpitiya areas in addition to the Dedduwa, Galle, Panama and Negombo areas. The resorts will host varied activities and offer concessions for both the international and local tourists.
  5. Marketing Promotion
  6. The Government will assist the Tourism Board to aggressively promote the country in the fast, emerging markets. The overseas offices will hire marketing professionals to carry out varied advertising campaigns. The overseas offices will also stop any, and all adverse publicity is mitigated.
  7. Accommodation Facilities and Other Infrastructure
  8. The country’s infrastructure needs to be developed if it hopes to achieve its targeted room capacity of 30,000 by the year 2015. Government support will be received to improve the existing hotel room quality and construct many small and large scale private sector led recreational and hotel room construction projects.
  9. Roads and Railways
  10. The Government will help improve the existing road networks and develop existing roads to hotels located in various parts of Sri Lanka. The laying of new railway tracks will be pursued as well.