Sujith Sanjaya Perera, member of Parliament, Officers of Policy Development Office (PDO),Officers of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM) and Industry stakeholders participated in the event.The Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and the Policy Development Office (PDO) of the Prime Minister's Office is assisting the tourism industry to standardize and develop adventure tourism and training in Sri Lanka.
According to the concept of Tourism Task Force of the Prime Minister, the Central Programme Management Unit (CPMU) of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs established a special committee on Adventure Tourism and Training on 19th April 2017 to standardize and develop adventure tourism and training in Sri Lanka. Under this initiative, the committee decided to form six working groups according to adventure tourism segment and requirements to come up with a framework to regularize and expand each adventure tourism segment.
The groups include Land Based working group, Aero Based working group, Water Based working group, Emergency Communication working group, Skill Development working group and Standards working group. The Policy Development Office of the Prime Minister's Office was given the responsibility of handling the Skill Development segment in order to enhance the skills and competencies of existing and new practitioners.
The working group on skill development with the assistance of SLITHM, NAITA, TVEC and industry stakeholders developed the National Competency Standards (NCS) and National Curricula (NVQ Level 4) for Adventure Tourism with a view in providing recognition and quality training.Accordingly, SLITHM with the assistance of TVEC, NAITA and industry stakeholders have developed the curricula for Watercraft Operator (Paddle Boat), Watercraft Operator (Personal Watercraft) , Trekking/ Hiking Guide, Ground Control Agent and Parachute Rigger.
During the ceremony, the Minister gave a great opportunity to industry stakeholders to raise their issues in terms of industrial limitations. A water rafting practitioner in Kithulgala presented a question on a project initiated by the Ceylon Electricity Board to build a Hydro Power station across the Kelani River. The people who are engaging in water rafting industry has faced a huge problem due to decreasing of water levels in the river. Therefore, they have filed a case against the Ceylon Electricity Board. But the officials representing the Ceylon Electricity Board do not appear before the court on required dates.
Minister Amaratunga stated that he will consider this problem and advice the relevant officials to take necessary action by examining the problem properly in the near future. This move will aid in developing the quality of above employment categories and will benefit the growth of employment opportunities in the tourism sector.