Colombo, July 3 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga, on Monday, said over 300,000 jobs will be created in the hospitality industry by 2020 as tourist arrivals to the island country continue to grow.
Speaking at the 38th Graduation ceremony of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, which is the country’s leading hospitality education provider, Amaratunga said Sri Lanka’s hospitality sector, presently offers direct employment to around 150,000 individuals.
This number will double to 300,000 by the year 2020 to service the 4 million visitors the country is targeting by then, he said.
The Minister further said the national room inventory which is around 25,000 at present will also increase to 45,000 by 2020.
“This government is very focused on making tourism the engine of national economic growth and the number one foreign exchange earner by 2020. There is already a Tourism Master Plan that is being implemented through a dedicated Tourism Task Force in order to achieve these goals,” Amaratunga said.
The Minister further explained that presently Sri Lanka was facing a shortage of manpower in the tourism and hospitality sectors as the demand outweighed the supply.
“Today social media is a very powerful tool and one bad experience can negatively influence thousands of others. It is therefore our duty, especially those in the hospitality industry to be aware of the power of social media and to always ensure that those who visit us are treated well so that the same social media could be leveraged to positively influence other visitors.”