Sri Lanka Tourism launches membership drive for informal sectorsupported by Australia’s MDF

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), with the support from Market Development Facility (MDF), Australia’s flagship private sector development program, has launched a membership drive to encourage informal sector tourism operators to register with SLTDA. The membership drive was launched recently with a trilingual video series featuring celebrated cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara.

“Tourism is led by the SME’s and hit hard by the pandemic which accounts for over 55% of the tourism industry. The key objective of this initiative is to motivate informal businessesto register with us and I invite informal sector establishments to register– we stand ready to help,”said Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism.

“I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. Kumar Sangakkara for helping us to initiate this and Market Development Facility (MDF) for assisting us,” she added.

SLTDA welcomes all informal tourism businesses, regardless of size, ranging from tourist hotels, guest houses, homestays, bungalows, travel agencies, tourist-friendly eating places, restaurants, and spa and wellness centres to register via the provisional registration process.By registering, businesses also showcase their commitment to promoting Sri Lanka as a safe travel destination, building confidence among tourists to choose Sri Lanka and their business.

“Australia is proud to support SLTDA to provide long-term support to the informal tourism business sector to ensure a strong, inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19,” said H.E. David Holly, Australian High commissioner to Sri Lanka.

Australia’s engagement in the initiative is part of its broader support to the Sri Lankan tourism industry through MDF. MDF is funded by the Australian Government and implemented by Palladium, in partnership with Swisscontact. Australia is also supporting SLTDA with a five-year research roadmap to upgrade SLTDA’s research and data capabilities.This is expected to enable better evidence-based decision making, offering greater value to the private and public sectors.

The trilingual video series also features a step-by-step guide to registering upon completing the provisional registration process online, along with testimonials from informal sector businesses that have benefitted from registering with SLTDA.Interested businesses are invited to register with SLTDA by typing ‘Register’ and sending a text message to +94 71 544 0000 or visiting www.sltda.gov.lk

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