Tourism or tourist industry has become a major foreign exchange earner today. Sri Lanka is famous throughout the world as a tourist paradise.
There are many tourist attractions in our country. Some of them are ruined cities, water falls, sanctuaries, botanical gardens, and sandy beaches. Apart from these, there are a large number of tourist hotels with modern facilities. Also there are sufficient traveling facilities.
Tourism creates a large number of employment opportunities. Thousands of our youth work in tourist hotels. Tourists like very much to visit rural areas in Sri Lanka. Therefore our villagers can sell their products such as handicrafts to tourists and earn money. Information centre have been set up in almost all towns for tourists by the Ceylon Tourist Board. At these centers brochures and maps are issued to tourists. Tourists appreciate the hospitality of Sri Lankan People.
Now let us look at the bad effects of the tourism. It is said that tourism has affected the values of our people, particularly our youth. It is true that some tourists engage in anti – social acts. Some of the tourists are drug addicts or perverts. They corrupt our youth. Also they spread incurable diseases such as aids. But we should keep in mind that all the tourists are not black sheep. Many tourists come to rest and enjoy the beauty of Sri Lanka. Some tourists come to enrich their knowledge about our culture. They do no harm to anything or anyone.
As a result of the existing war in our country the number of tourists coming in has dwindled drastically. It is reported that several hotels have been closed down under this situation.
The Ministry of Tourist industry should take action to prevent the bad effects of the tourism. The institutions that are engaged in this trade should extend their cooperation towards the ministry in this connection. Then it will be possible to curb all the bad effects and to promote tourism in Sri Lanka.
In a recent survey conducted by the World Tourism Organization it has been revealed that promotion of sports activities will lead to the promotion of tourist destinations. Therefore the Ministry of Tourism should take action to find out the possibility of holding international. Sports events like Olympic, Games, Cricket, Athletic World Championships in Sri Lanka.