Higher studies in tourism inaugurated
With increasing contributions by the tourism industry to economic
development, Sri Lanka Tourist Board in collaboration with the
University of Colombo introduced a Masters degree and Postgraduate
Diploma in Tourism, Economics and Hotel Management for Sri Lankan
students for the first time.
Higher studies in this field will make significant contributions to
improve the tourism industry in the country.
Today tourism has become one of the largest foreign exchange earners
in Sri Lanka. It is estimated that the direct impact of tourism in Sri
Lanka on GDP is more than two percent, but this could be much higher
when considering indirect impacts.
Projected foreign tourist arrivals by 2016 will be 2.5 million.
Though the industry currently provides around 150,000 direct and
indirect employment opportunities, this amount should go up to more than
500,000 by 2016.
Several national universities, University of Rajarata, University of
Sabaragamuwa, University of Kelaniya currently conduct a few degree
programmes in tourism studies. Some of these national universities have
also introduced tourism or tourism related study modules as a part of
their postgraduate or Masters level programmes, but have not yet
introduced a postgraduate diploma or Masters level programmes
specializing in tourism studies.
This will be the first experience for Sri Lankan students to pursue
postgraduate studies on tourism in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Tourism chairman Nalaka Godahewa addressing an inaugural
ceremony said the objective of the masters degree programme is to
provide the knowledge and skills in tourism, economics and hotel
management to those whose activities will have a positive impact on
development of the tourism industry in a sustainable manner.
The knowledge and skills are provided in a nationally and
internationally accepted and competitive manner.
Prof. Sarath Kotagama said Sri Lanka can be marketed all round the
Tourism should be developed within Sri Lankan identity.
‘Tourists visit Sri Lanka for a new experience. If we provide them
what they already have that will never be a success. So we should
produce our own things for marketing, he said.
Presidential Adviser Sunimal Fernando, University Grants Commission
chairman Prof Gamini Samaranayake, Colombo University Vice Chancellor
Prof. Kshinika Hirimburegama, and two professors from Thailand and
Malaysia addressed the gathering.