Sri Lanka has become one of the most interesting countries for foreigners to visit. The tourist industry will increase with the peaceful environment prevailing at present. It is important to have a proper marketing mechanism and strategies to attract tourists that will provide an impetus for industry growth, the Association for Small and Medium Enterprises Travel and Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET) President, Siri de Silva told Daily News Business.
The ASMET is an association of diversified membership comprising different sectors of importance for the tourist industry. The contribution of its members is significant. The association seeks assistance from the Government by way of low cost funding and incentives to upgrade their properties. The funds are necessary for refurbishment, importation of items and adding value, he said.
Members of the Association who have hotels with less than 25 rooms need to support the tourist industry. Most of the members are proprietors or owners of family businesses with their private money invested in the tourism sector. Government assistance to improve their properties will benefit the industry.
We are satisfied with the standards maintained by our members, he said. The tourism industry would be able to achieve the targets set by the Government.
The level of tourist inquiries is on the rise and there is an increase in the tourist arrivals from non-traditional countries such as Israel, Spain and Portugal. There has been an increased number of tourists arriving from Russian countries. The indications are there for a better season this year, he said.