The Sri Lankan people are as much a tourist attraction as the country’s sun and sand. Anura Lokuhetti, Director Operations of the Confifi Group Hotels expects to promote the idea at an international travel conference next month.
“It is a misconception that tourists arrive here only because of the sun and the golden beaches. Through my long experience in the tourist industry and the research we’ve done on this subject we have ample evidence that they wish to mix up with the local community”, Lokuhetti who has been invited to address the 35th UFTAA World Congress said.
“Providing clients security in tourist destinations through community participation” will be Sri Lanka’s slogan at the The Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association’s (UFTAA) World Congress to be held in Tunisia from 28th October to 1st November 2001.
He added that local communities could play a key role to ensure the security of tourists by developing healthy contacts with the travellers without being harassment to them. To make this a reality the community should be made aware of their role in the industry.
He also said that Sri Lanka’s natural resources if properly managed to attract tourists, could be the biggest foreign exchange earner for the country.
He acknowledged that the tourism industry in Sri Lanka was going through a difficult period. “Sri Lanka is still a safe haven for the adventure-loving traveller who wishes to experience the true taste of paradise,” he said.
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