and E-Channelling in pioneering e-commerce project
is a pioneering e-commerce project in Sri Lanka, whereby patients can
book appointments with doctors at hospitals in Colombo either through
the internet or by visiting any of Sampath Bank's branches
island-wide. This easy to use, web based service seeks to fulfil a
long felt need of people by eliminating the time wasted by standing in
queues, parking and making trips to the hospital.
Limited is Sri Lanka's first large-scale e-commerce company, a Rs. 70
million joint venture between Millennium Information Technologies and
Ayojana Fund (Pvt) Ltd., established to take the channelling of
specialist doctors in Sri Lanka to the electronic age.
Currently the project connects Nawaloka, Durdans, Asiri, and
Oasis hospitals in Colombo. Plans are afoot to connect a total of 10
hospitals in the near future. Suntel has connected all these hospitals
with eChannelling server on dedicated connections. The solutions have
built in redundancy with automatic ISDN dial back up. Once again,
Suntel has demonstrated its ability to deliver a customer specific
solution to telecommunication challenges, together with the promise of
international quality and speed of delivery.
wOw is the ISP provider for the project, enabling the customer to
channel the doctors through the internet. Suntel is also E-Channelling's
official internet service provider, offering dedicated internet
connectivity and related services.
net profit of John Keells Holdings (JKH) is expected to decline by
40-45% for the financial year ending March 31, 2002, according to
recently - released provisional financial statements of JKH for the
nine months ended December 31, 2001 showed a 47% drop to Rs. 239.8
million from the Rs. 450.1 million made in the same period of the
Analyst, CT Smith Stockbrokers Shanika Wimalabandu said this
performance was anticipated, and expects a similar decline in the
Aitken Spence statements to be released shortly.
pointed out that JKH was badly affected by the overall economic
decline, the terrorist attacks in Katunayake and New York which
affected their leisure business, and the drought which hit
said John Keells' IT business will be able to break-even, but the
transport sector will witness a slightly negative growth.
however felt the group's performance will see a definite improvement
during the next financial year ending March 2003.
Chairman Vivendra Lintotawela, stated that despite adverse conditions,
group turnover during the nine months period ending Dec.31, 2001, has
increased marginally from Rs. 8.6 billion to Rs. 8.8 billion. He said
that they have seen an increase of just 5% in total operating costs
over the previous year, while having to meet with inflationary
pressures and other cost increases.
decline in profit from operating activities was thereby contained at
Rs. 220.7 million, a drop of 27% from the same period in the previous
year," he added.
to Lintotawela, the economy contracted by 3.7% in the third quarter
and 0.7% in the first nine months, effectively wiping out the growth
of 0.9% registered in the first half of the calendar year.
said that while financial expenses have increased by 44% during the 9
month period ending December 31, a sum of Rs.93 million has been
charged against profits against the total payment made on the
voluntary resignation scheme implemented by Ceylon Cold Stores.
added that the 20% surcharge on corporate tax has contributed to the
increase of approximately 16% in the effective rate of tax for the
nine month period.
total assets of JKH has also witnessed a decline, from Rs. 18.9
billion in 2000 to Rs. 16.4 billion in 2001. The net assets per share
also dropped from Rs. 43.67 to Rs. 35.37.
turnover of the company reflects a reduction of 6% to Rs. 645.1
million from Rs. 684.2 million last year. Finance costs rose by 86%
from Rs. 67.3 million to Rs. 125.3 million in the current year,
primarily due to the higher interest rates in the first half of this
financial year and the third tranche of the investment in SAGT being
made during this quarter.
profit dropped by 34% from Rs. 412.5 million to Rs. 271.5 million.
stated that in spite of the economic downturn, Elephant House soft
drinks and ice creams continued to enhance their market leadership
position and registered satisfactory increases in turnover. He said
they are however concerned about possible adverse effects, if the
current power cuts are further extended.
added, "while we continue to pursue our plans to expand our
operations in the leisure sector into South India and in the Maldives,
to reduce our reliance on the volatile domestic market, the Sri Lankan
market continues to be depressed."
also said that in the plantation sector, sector profitability has
shown a slight improvement in the third quarter and they are confident
that this will continue.
stated that companies in the transportation sector continue to exceed
expectations. "However, the downturn in trade and the uncertainty
surrounding both the aviation and shipping industries have resulted in
slowing down sector growth rates," he added.
further stated that with the commissioning of the new cranes, phase
one of the SAGT development will be fully operational in February.
This would enhance sector profits in the fourth quarter.
IT sector is gradually seeing the results of its marketing efforts
over the past year, and will show a positive contribution in the last
quarter of the current financial year.
said the financial services sector has shown a significant improvement
in the third quarter as a result of improved activity in the stock
market and lower interest rates. "The strategy to maximise the
synergies of the different companies in the sector continues and we
hope to complete the process by the end of the financial year. The
company has made provision in its financial statements for losses that
may be made in this regard," he said.
of Leo Burnett India visits Sri Lanka
Managing Director of Leo Burnett - India, Arvind Sharma was recently
in Sri Lanka to review the advertising standards in the country.
Sharma is also a member of the directorate of Leo Burnett Solutions
Inc., which is the Sri Lankan representative organisation of Leo
Lankan advertising standards have grown at an extremely fast pace
during the past couple of years", said Sharma. "Advertising
messages are more focused and to the point" he further added,
expressing strongly that he was over-whelmed by the performance of Leo
Burnett Solutions in Sri Lanka due to the outstanding achievements in
its short history of two and a half years.
Lanka has a good collection of strong advertising players in the
market today", Sharma said. "It is essential that we have
strong players as then the industry itself can grow as a whole. This
is why the Sri Lankan advertising industry has performed and developed
Sharma is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad,
who spent his first couple of years in marketing at Voltas. He joined
advertising in 1979 at Clarion McCann. In 1993 he joined Chaitra
Advertising in India and rose rapidly in the agency.
1992, Leo Burnett's equity participation in Chaitra was accompanied by
his appointment as deputy managing director. In August 1995, Sharma
took over as managing director of Chaitra Leo Burnett with additional
responsibilities of looking after Burnett's interests in Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka and Nepal. He helped establish affiliates for Burnett in
Bangladesh - Bitopi Advertising and Sri Lanka - Leo Burnett Solutions
Inc., the agency's second network in India in association with Dentsu
- Orchard Advertising, and the agency's media arm Starcom. In 2000,
the agency changed its name to Leo Burnett India.
Arvind's leadership the Indian agency transformed itself rapidly,
acquiring talent of industry stature and adding global accounts such
as Coca-Cola, Fiat, Heinz, Kellogg, Pillsbury, Hallmark and Toyota and
prestigious local accounts such as Bajaj, Dabur, Godrej.
talent form Leo Burnett India is in key roles in developed markets in
the Leo Burnett network from Chicago to Singapore. Leo Burnett India's
creative product has received global acclaim across all the major
international advertising award festivals. Leo Burnett is one of two
agencies to have a Cannes lion, and the agency has acquired a
reputation for turning around brands - Bajaj motorcycles, Thums, and
Coca-Coca being some of the best-known examples..
of Colombo attracts new Maersk line service
- Sealand, the world's largest container carrier will be inducting an
additional weekly service with vessels with a capacity of 4200 TEUs
through the port of Colombo commencing 2nd week of February 2002. The
proposed service is the West bound service of the Far East Middle East
- Sealand, though having shifted its transshipment base from Colombo
to Salalah has in the recent past shown renewed interest in moving its
transshipment traffic through the Port of Colombo. Induction of this
new service is seen as a reflection of Maersk Sealand's confidence in
the productivity enhancement measures adopted by the Jaye Container
terminal, the flagship container terminal of the Port of Colombo.
Jaye Container Terminal, the largest container terminal in South Asia
has over the recent weeks increased its vessel productivity by
approximately 70-80%. Combined with the competitive advantage the Port
of Colombo has been able to display in the recent past, the decision
by Maersk Sealand to induct a new service through the Port of Colombo
is seen as a reflection of the tremendous potential the Port of
Colombo has over its regional competitors.
government's decision to get an opposition MP to head the Committee on
Public Enterprise better known as COPE is a good thing. In fact COPE
during the last parliament expressed considerable concern about the
inefficiency of the public sector and discussed measures to ensure
their effectiveness, both as sound business concerns and as
instruments of development policy.
they say performance improvement could be stimulated through
professionalism of the internal management, the interference of
politicians in tender procedures relating to procurement was cited by
the former COPE Chairman, John Amaratunga as the main cause for last
year's financial crisis in the CEB and the Petroleum Corporation.
According to reliable sources year 2000/2001 is expected to be worse -
its debts are currently over Rs. 40 billion.
fact, the government and the minister in charge of an enterprises have
an obligation to supervise, monitor and evaluate the performance of an
enterprise in order to ensure that the goals for which it was set up
are achieved, and also intervene when necessary to ensure that the
institutions falling under his/her ministry are positive contributors
towards national development.
the fact that COPE in the past expressed considerable concern about
the mismanagement and corruption in many of the public enterprises and
also the need to increase the effectiveness of these enterprises, both
as sound business concerns and also as a vehicle for promoting
economic and social development, the newly appointed members of COPE
should take steps to promote the '3Es' or 'value for money' within the
term 'value for money' has been used time and again in relation to the
public sector, where concern has been expressed officially about the
cost, efficiency and effectiveness of entities in the public sector.
The term value for money is used to convey three aspects of
performance measurement; i.e. economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
the public sector, value for money implies the availability of a
service which is economical, efficient, and effective. These three
ingredients could be defined in simple terms in the following manner:
Economical - a cheap process or doing things cheap
Efficient - a job well done
Efficient - objective achieved
elaborate a little more on the three ingredients referred to above,
one may say that 'economy' in relation to the subject under discussion
is the acquisition of resources, raw materials needed by the entity in
appropriate quantities, without wastage, in keeping with required
standards as far as quality is concerned, and at the most compatible
is determined by the final result in comparing the quantity of the end
product or service with the value of the resources fed into the
process. The objective to be achieved ideally is to increase
productivity and lower unit cost. 'Effectiveness' is measured by the
degree to which an activity has achieved its stated objectives and
this era of private ownership, we can see from utterances of some
important public figures, the public sector is being placed under
considerable pressure to demonstrate that they need to exist. They
have to show that they are giving the public value for their money.
Consultants and other advisors have constantly advocated good
management practices such as the formulation of action plans to focus
on achieving value for money.
the purpose of this exercise is not to reduce the number of jobs in
the public sector, which would be disastrous from a socio-economic
point of view. It also does not mean that expenditure in the public
sector should be curtailed. What it does mean is that the public
sector should be mindful of how much it contributes towards the
national coffers by way of services, in relation to the enormous sums
swallowed up by the institutions within it.
understand that widespread concern about the negative approach towards
"cost effectiveness" on the part of certain institutions in
the public sector has led to some interest being shown in conducting
value for money audits. This is a useful tool in achieving the avowed
objective of the government, which is to make public enterprises
viable or else to sell them to the private sector, or even liquidate
them where possible.
this would only be a first step and there should be a willingness on
the part of such institutions and the minister to take meaningful
steps to take corrective measures based on the results of such audits.
taking of corrective measures does not stop at putting down
recommendations. It should be followed up by training programmes for
senior management, line managers and also workers, who are all in need
of adequate motivation to achieve value for money.
important matter to be kept in view is that there can be no universal
formula for success. What may be the perfect strategy for institution
"A" may not be desirable for institution "B". One
must always pay heed to the human factor, i.e. the needs and the
aspirations of the workers and public, the environmental factor i.e.
the location of the establishment and the effect on the public etc.,
and the cultural factor i.e. the types of persons affected by the
utilities's products and services.
if the value for money concept is to take root in the public sector, a
distinction should be made between the exercise of political power as
reflected in the making of national policies and the exercise of
politicking power, which is interference in the day to day management
aimed at short-term political gain.
invests Rs. 144 mn in expansion project
investor Viscotex S.R.I. of Italy with its local counterparts have
gone into aggressive expansion of their Sri Lankan operation to
manufacture garments and socks for the EU market, investing Rs. 144 mn.
in the process.
(Lanka) Ltd., was incorporated in 1980 for the manufacture of hosiery
viz. tights (for ladies and children) and socks (for men, ladies and
children) for the European market.
to the high demand for the company's products in the European market,
it has decided to set up a factory to cater to this demand using
state-of-the-art computerised knitting machines. This second factory
was built on a land extent of 1.5 acres in Minuwangoda Industrial
Estate, with a total investment of US$ 5 million.
has resulted in new employment opportunities for initially 200
workers, which will be increased to 300 by the end of this year. The
total number of employees of the two factories currently stands at
company's total production is exported to Europe and marketed through
a distribution network in Germany, which is also owned by the same
investors. The main shareholders of the company are from Italy.
investors also have two more investments in Sri Lanka, namely Filotex
Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, the only acrylic yarn spinning factory in Sri Lanka,
situated in the EPZ Katunayaka and the Tamarind Tree Hotel, which is a
unique concept tourist hotel situated at Andiambalama, Minuwangoda.
of Management launches The Management Club
Management Club (TMC) was launched last week at the Galle Face Hotel
under the auspices of the Institute of Management UK - Sri Lanka
executive committee of the Institute of Management UK - Sri Lanka
Branch conceived the concept of TMC almost two years ago. It is the
first of its kind in Sri Lanka. The objective in forming the club was
to bring together managers and provide them with the amenities of an
exclusive club, where they could meet, interact and network with their
peers and exchange thoughts, views and ideas.
Galle Face Hotel (GFH) management has been supportive of this venture
and it is anticipated that TMC will become part and parcel of the
planned expansion and refurbishment of the hotel. It is appropriate
that the club be situated at GFH, which has a long history, a distinct
image and an imitable atmosphere. The location of TMC alongside the
Sea Spray Restaurant would give it a special ambience.
will consist of a boardroom for members' meetings and a tastefully
decorated lounge, both of which are air conditioned. Dining facilities
will be available in the restaurant and on the terrace, overlooking
the sea front. TMC would be opened from 7.30 onwards in morning to
enable members to meet or conduct their business meetings over tea or
that TMC members would be entitled to would include special discounts
on food and beverages, hotel rooms, swimming pool, billiards, etc. If
a larger area is required for a function, members could reserve the
restaurant area. This would provide the infrastructure for members to
interact and entertain at a corporate level.
principal corporate sponsors of TMC are Lion Brewery, Ceylon Tobacco,
Pepsi and International Distilleries. The cosponsors are Singer Sri
Lanka, A.T. Cooray, Delmege Forsythe and Sign-Tech Advertising.
will be managed by its own executive committee who will be members of
IM-UK. Membership to TMC will be by invitation only. All members of
the IM-UK are entitled to be ordinary or life members. Those who are
not members of IM-UK could be associate members and become ordinary or
life members if and when they obtain membership of IM-UK.
membership of the TMC would be limited to those meeting one or more of
the following criteria:
Membership in a UK professional institute
Membership in a Sri Lankan professional institute
Recognised management diploma holders
Minimum of five years senior management experience in a recognised
mission of IM-UK is to promote "the art and science of
management." Representing over 90,000 members worldwide, IM-UK is
the leading professional body for managers, whose members come from
all sectors - public and private - at all levels of responsibility,
from supervisor to chief executive. The institute is also the leading
body for management qualifications in the UK, with over 200 centres
conducting development programmes that lead to a wide range of
certificates, diplomas and NVQ/SVQs in management.
Sri Lanka Branch, which is the only branch outside the U.K., is
planning to work towards developing similar management courses and
qualifications geared for the country's needs. This activity has been
delayed by the fact that IM-UK is currently in the process of
obtaining charter status in the UK, along with which, the statutory
members (Members (MIMgt), Fellows (FIMgt) and Companions (CIMgt))
would become chartered managers.
levels of qualifications for chartered membership of IM-UK, as well as
the change in syllabuses for such qualifications are currently in the
process of being evolved and evaluated.
business delegation to visit Sri Lanka
business delegation led by Micheal Sternberg, ambassador of Denmark to
India and Sri Lanka, will visit Sri Lanka from March 10 - 12.
companies participating in this delegation include APV Thailand, AVK
Overseas (Asia), Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S,
Cowi A/S, Danfoss Industries Pvt. Ltd., Danisco Ingredients India Pvt.
Ltd., DHI Water & Environment, Dong A/S, d line India Pvt. Ltd.,
ECO-Chem Waste Control (I) Pvt. Ltd., Emborg Foods Middle East, Fowler
Westrup (India) Ltd, Fuller India Ltd., Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd,
Intertec A/S, Kampsax India (P) Ltd., L.M. Glasfiber (I) Ltd., L&T
Niro Ltd, Maersk Lanka (Pvt). Ltd., Navision Software India Pvt. Ltd.,
NEG-Micon A/S, Novo Nordisk India Pvt. Ltd., and Vestas RRB India Ltd.
companies span dairy and food processing machinery, industrial
fittings for water and gas, diesel engine power plants, food
ingredients, consultancy in water, sanitation and environment,
production and supply of energy and associated services, pollution
monitoring and control, seed processing machinery, cement plant
machinery, pumps, electric and mechanical installations, digital
mapping and geographical information system services, systems and
packages related to concentration and drying for chemicals,
fertilizers and other chemicals, wind energy systems and generators,
consumer goods, and healthcare sectors.
delegation intends to meet with targeted local companies on a
one-to-one basis on March
seminars will also be organised on March 11 on the energy and water
sectors, respectively. The seminar 'Danish Know-how and Technology for
the Water Sector' will be presented by the Danish Hydraulic Institute,
COWI, Grundfos and AVK Overseas, while the seminar entitled 'Danish
Know-how and Technology for the Energy Sector' will be led by B&W
Scandinavian Contractor A/S, NEG Micon and Vestas.
local coordinating bodies for this delegation are the European
Business Information Centre (EBIC) and the European Chamber of
Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL).
companies who would like to have further details regarding the
individual companies in the delegation can contact the EBIC/ECCSL for
further details and participation.
strategy to achieve cleaner production needed
Clean Industry Development Project sponsored by the Ministry of
Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion and
funded by the Asian Development Bank, is undertaking with the
collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders, to develop strategy,
action plans and public policies needed by Sri Lanka to achieve
cleaner production and increased production efficiency, international
competitiveness and sustainable development that Cleaner Production
(CP) makes possible.
the strategy and action plan is based on extensive research,
especially on the advice of representatives from many private sector
firms and organisations as to the combination of understanding,
policies, incentives, rewards, pressures and other conditions that
will change the perspective of the businessperson to believe that CP
is in the best business interest of the firm.
a workable strategy and action plan requires the collaboration of many
sectors of government, business and community. Representatives of
different perspectives and interests must come together to discover
their common interests in achieving CP and how the nation as a whole
and the agenda of each stakeholder can benefit from national progress
must then examine how each can contribute to a combined and integrated
plan to achieve CP nationally, and work to integrate principles of CP
into policy and programmes at all levels and in all sectors of
activity. It is a long process, but the future cost to the nation of
continuing in existing patterns of increasing industrial pollution and
depletion of natural resources, accelerated by economic growth, is
unacceptable. This is a truly national issue, cutting across all
dimensions of governmental responsibility for the future welfare of
the nation and its people.
production is a broad concept that is achieved by reducing both the
consumption of natural resources per unit of production and the amount
of waste and consequent impact on the environment and human health per
unit of production. It is therefore measured in increased efficiency
and productivity of the production process.
pollution control, cleaner production cannot be taught as a technique,
but requires a shift in perspective of the business decision-maker
with regard to the factors considered in business decisions.
Fortunately, it is also dissimilar to pollution control, in that
pursuing it does not simply add to the cost of production, but serves
to reduce production costs and makes the firm more productive and
production is a condition in which pollutants produced and natural
resources consumed for each unit of product or service are reduced so
that growth is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.
widely used definition of CP, given by the United Nations Environment
production is the continuous application of an integrated preventive
environmental strategy applied to processes, products, and services to
increase overall efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the
environment. This involves:
processes: conserving raw materials and energy, eliminating toxic raw
materials and reducing the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and
reducing negative impacts along the lifecycle of a product, from raw
material extraction to its ultimate disposal; and
incorporating environmental concerns into designing and delivering
is a broad definition that addresses not only the reduction of the
quantity and toxicity of pollution from production, but also the
reduction of the consumption of natural resources by those processes.
In this perspective, the principles and practices by which CP will be
achieved include many related concepts, such as pollution prevention,
waste minimisation, environmental management,
design-for-the-environment, life-cycle analysis, green accounting, and
also involves many sectors of activity and the cooperation of all
these sectors is needed to achieve CP on a national scale. The
principles of CP originated in manufacturing, but they are equally
applicable to transportation, mining, health services, agriculture,
tourism and many other sectors. All levels of government provide
facilities and services to their citizens, consuming resources and
impacting the environment.
financial and professional organisations all influence the behaviour
of business and can significantly contribute to achieving CP.
Community and other volunteer organisations are made up of citizens
who are impacted by the actions of business, which can contribute
constructively to motivate change towards greater efficiency. Trade
and investment may be strongly affected by CP in industry. All of
these are stakeholders in a process of achieving national CP, and each
in its own way can contribute to and benefit from a national programme
to achieve CP.
is not simply a response to environmental concerns. It concerns
questions of economic competitiveness and national sustainable growth.
At the core of the meaning of CP is efficiency; less use of raw
materials and less waste per unit of production inherently mean
increased production efficiency. This in turn yields higher
profitability and greater competitiveness. As world markets become
more open and competitive, achieving CP can make a critical difference
in the ability of a nation's products and services to compete both in
the global market and at home.
developing regions of the globe are striving for rapid future
industrialisation. The adoption of principles and practices to achieve
cleaner production can both make industrial growth more competitive
and avoid the environmental impacts and the depletion of natural
resources that have been incurred by the more industrialised nations
from similar growth.
the intensity of natural resources consumed and of pollutants
discharged is not yet falling as fast as production is rising. The
result will be continuing rapid depletion of natural resources and
degradation of the environment, and increasing risk to human health.
Under those conditions the faster economic growth occurs, the worse
the problem will become. Many areas face an environmental disaster
from what may seem like economic success, but is an inherently
this pattern requires a coherent national strategy that encompasses
not only industry but all sectors, public and private, whose
activities have an impact on the environment or consume natural
resources, or which can help to influence the behaviour of those who
directly impact the environment. It requires commitment from
government at the highest levels and concern for CP in public policy
at all levels and in all sectors.
it requires careful planning of action to change the behaviour of
enterprises and organisations, voluntarily, towards greater production
efficiency. These actions must be carefully selected on the basis of
national strategy, achieve synergy through collaboration among
sectors, and be supported by public policy and strong leadership.
nights free acomodation offer from Malayasia Airlines
Airlines is offering free accommodation for three nights for Sri
Lankan travellers to discover and experience the wonders of Malaysia.
This is a unique offer called the "Showcase Malaysia"
package. This offer entitles you to a free stay in Malaysia for 4
days/3 nights with breakfast, and you can choose from over 80 hotels
and resorts around the country, which is valid till March 31.
offer is open to returning passengers travelling from Sri Lanka on
Malaysia Airlines, who would like to use this opportunity to take a
break, go shopping or even look for business opportunities. Once you
step into Malaysia you well feel the irresistible glamour of the
golden beaches, scenery and exiting adventures. You can spend all day
browsing through the exquisite shopping malls or enjoying a wide
variety of activities of Malaysia's diversified cultures.
Malaysia" is targeted at passengers flying on return tickets on
Malaysia Airlines from Colombo to Europe, Australia, USA, Japan,
Korea, Taiwan and China.
Airlines which is code-sharing with Srilankan Airlines now operates
four flights weekly to Kuala Lumpur every morning on Tuesday, Friday,
Saturday and Sunday with convenient connections to all major cities
worldwide. Hemas Air Services (Pvt) Ltd., is the general sales agent
for Malaysia Airlines in Colombo.
venture IT training company launched
Spectrum, an Indo-Sri Lanka BOI approved joint venture IT training
company was launched recently at the Colombo Hilton, in the presence
of Minister for Tertiary
Education and Training, Kabir Hashim, representatives of the BOI, and
Training Centre (Pvt) Ltd., which is doing business as IDL Spectrum,
is focussed on becoming the largest human resource development centre
in Sri Lanka, concentrating on a combination of IT, coupled with
training in the English language. IDL Spectrum which plans to invest
US $ 300,000 in IT training, aims to go nationwide within a period of
company has a vision of becoming the largest HRD company in Sri Lanka
by opening up training centres in multiple locations around the
hardware is concerned, IDL Spectrum's set up will consist of Compaq
systems with Pentium 4 Servers and Pentium 3 clients, while on the
technology front they will incorporate Bluetooth R&D kits for real
time Bluetooth training, which will be imported from Sweden, along
with an array of other software tools for Bioinformatics, Bluetooth,
Web Technologies including .Net Framework, Visual Studio, .Net,Nokia
WAP Toolkit for WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), and LINUX suite.
terrorism the biggest threat for the development of tourism in Sri
general perception is that the problem in the north of Sri Lanka is
the reason for the decrease in tourists visiting our country. However,
if one would go through research carried out by the Ceylon Tourist
Board, one would realise that the larger threat is the harassment
experienced by tourists.
personal experience in the industry also substantiates the research.
This problem has reached huge proportions in recent years as the
harassers receive support from other interested parties who undermine
the authority of the hotels in tourist destinations. The local police
are not free to enforce law and order due to various pressures from
recent study conducted by the Ceylon Tourist Board proves that more
than 30% of guests have faced problems due to harassment experienced
during their stay in Sri Lanka, commencing from the time of their
arrival until their departure. Further analysis reveals that what is
considered "harassment" by tourists is in reality the poor
selling skills of the local people residing in the area, who are
making a living out of peddling their wares to tourists.
global study of the issue also tells us that in developing countries
experiencing high unemployment rates of unskilled labour, the
unemployed resort to other means to earn a living. Research and the
media provide information about countries such as Kenya, the Caribbean
Islands, South American resorts, where tourists complain about
harassment by beach boys and touts.
complaints are legitimate and we need to deal with it. Today, we have
to contend with other factors. The main problem faced in Sri Lanka
affecting tourism is not the Katunayake International Airport attack,
but the initiative taken by America to eradicate terrorism in the
world. The impact of this decision has created another situation,
which dissuades most of our tourist visitors from airline travel.
Therefore, tourist destinations are now places where one can travel by
other means than air i.e. by road, train and cars.
purpose of drawing attention to research conducted by the Ceylon
Tourist Board from July-November 2001 is to consider what positive
measures we need to implement in order to lure more repeat clients to
Sri Lanka. Repeat clients are our bread and butter and if we have to
maintain our status in the industry, we need to take action now before
it is too late.
share some of the research data from the study, as much as 65% of the
guests have been approached by various interested parties in selling
some kind of service to tourists on the beach and 45% of guests have
been approached by touts offering various services on round trips and
to other places, etc.
strongly indicates that harassment is the major threat, apart from
terrorism in the northern part of Sri Lanka that impedes the
development of tourism in Sri Lanka.
we compete with the Maldive Islands, who ensure that they offer peace
and tranquility to its visitors.
"harassment" were to be considered a major threat for the
development of tourism in Sri Lanka, preventive measures need to be
taken as early as possible to overcome this problem.
do clients go to the Maldives? They go there so that they can have a
relaxing holiday without any kind of harassment. A holiday means
recreation - a time to relax, there must be 'peace of mind' for the
body to completely unwind and relax. When holiday makers book their
holidays, their main criteria is to have a peaceful and tranquil
holiday, no matter the distance. Harassment of any form, in any
destination of the world would be a definite "no" on their
developed countries like Canada, there is a law enforced against
harassment and therefore, this problem is not significant. However, in
developing countries where there is so much unemployment, this problem
is evident. It is extremely important to safeguard the interests of
the tourists in any destination of the world in order to create a
trouble free peaceful holiday.
problem in the short term
Creating community awareness about the hazards of harassment to the
menace of harassment in resort destinations is proving to be a
deterrent in tourists selecting a location for their vacations. This
harassment comes mainly from local vendors who make a living from
selling low cost souvenirs, handicrafts and various other services.
overcome this menace, it is suggested that the authorities directly
linked to tourism, e.g. The Tourist Board, travel trade associations
etc., should embark on a programme that educates the community at
large on the importance of the industry as a major income earner that
contributes to the economy of the country.
implement such an awareness prog-ramme, a special committee should be
appointed in-collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Tourist Board
or any other national body that is involved in the development of
tourism such as the Tourist Hoteliers Association, hotel schools, and
with the assistance of media channels. The committee should be
Commence immediately a communication strategy that focuses on the
benefits of tourism to the country as a whole and the community at
Conduct meetings in regional areas to educate all religious leaders in
churches, mosques and temples etc., on the problems faced by tourism
due to the harassment of tourists by touts. Using the clergy in
educating the masses is recommended because the people living in rural
areas tend to heed their word strongly.
These communications should erase the perception that foreign tourists
are affluent with no limits to their spending power.
Community participation in the tourism industry
inhabitants of tourist resort areas will require social education
focused on enhancing their skills, so that they can actively
participate in the tourism industry and gain meaningful employment.
This would involve:
Setting up tourism training schools:
leavers from tourist destination areas could gain admission to these
schools where they would receive specialised training to find gainful
employment in hotels in their own areas. This would then not require
them to resort to other avenues of income such as selling goods and
services in tourist destinations and other places that are frequented
by tourists. Creating such an opportunity would result in the
inhabitants having a positive image of tourism and would treat
tourists with more tact and courtesy, understanding that their repeat
visits greatly add to the economic contribution of their livelihood.
Enhance communication skills to cater to tourist needs:
area of concern is the lack of communication skills. If the vendors in
tourist areas were to communicate in foreign languages, they would
communicate more effectively with tourists as they would understand
each other. This education system will definitely reduce to a great
extent the communication barrier and harassment of tourists by the
local community that normally only speak in their mother tongue.
important factor is that most people in rural areas do not speak in
English and find it difficult to find employment in tourist resorts
etc., and other tourist related environments, and as such, are
directed to various other businesses. They tend to rely on the foreign
guest to peddle their goods and services, resulting in tourists losing
their peace and tranquility while on a much needed vacation.
Therefore, this problem has to be taken seriously and consideration
should be given to the feasibility of setting up hotel schools in
these areas, so that more people find meaningful employment within the
Deliver marketing techniques and skills training programmes:
techniques and skills are essential to the success of such an
initiative. Due to their lack of know-how, vendors pursue tourists
aggressively which is interpreted as harassment. If they were more
focused on marketing their goods in an appropriate manner, their
behaviour would be less aggressive and therefore would not come across
as a form of harassment.
Creating a market place for vendors (fair concept) :
'fair' concept would provide a legitimate location for vendors to
display their goods and services for sale. The fair would be
advertised as the location for tourists to visit if they desire to
purchase goods and services that are of interest to them. This would
prevent vendors and touts from lurking on the beach and other tourist
attractions to harass tourists in to making a purchase.
is where government intervention is required for the local government
to create a 'fair' concept, where stalls are leased to local vendors
to display their goods. This intervention would assist in eradicating
the necessity of selling goods to tourists at the tourist sites. Law
and order should be enforced at these sites. The vendors at the fair
should be registered and issued identity cards through an authorised
body. Tourists can therefore identify legitimate vendors and would
help to streamline any complaints or forms of harassment.
Creating of cultural centres with community participation:
tourists if given the opportunity would like to learn more about the
countries that they visit and therefore would enjoy mingling with the
local community to learn about culture, lifestyles, living conditions,
food, and dance. Well-organised cultural shows in a community centre
would satisfy this need.
Central government to ensure no interference:
is a common problem in most of the developing countries where people
with different interests hamper the enforcement of law and order for
their own benefit, which leads to deterioration of law and order.
the government should intervene and endorse and support these
initiatives for the development of tourism.
Tourism to be included as a subject in school curriculum
should be introduced as a subject in the school curriculum so that the
future generation will realise the importance of tourism to the
country. The youth will be aware of what is required and how the
country can derive the benefits from tourism. The adoption of this
subject in the long run will create an environment that will
appreciate tourists and cease to harass them.
Creation of tourism related businesses
government should be involved in identifying areas of business that
are directly related to the tourist industry. A special fund could be
dedicated for this purpose and studies and proposals put forward so
that community initiatives become reality. Most of the time the
vendors are small time entrepreneurs who eke out a living by selling
small wares and services that are of no interest to the local
community. If their needs were addressed through proper channels and
given due recognition, the vendors and touts who harass tourists
during their stay would be eliminated. If more individuals were
involved in providing goods and services to tourists, more individuals
would be gainfully employed and the need for harassing tourists in
order to earn an income would be minimised and in time made extinct.
Funds for community development in tourist areas
percentage of the direct income from the tourist industry should be
allocated for the benefit of the community. These funds should be used
exclusively for the purpose of building schools, hospitals and other
infrastructure initiatives that make a direct contribution to the
standard of living of the neighbourhoods. These visible contributions
to the community will decrease the negative behaviour from the locals
who will see the positive effects of tourism. Eventually, the long
term impact will reduce the need for aggressive marketing strategies
as repeat visits will increase, and word-of-mouth advertising will
increase tourist travel.
of a world body to address threats to tourism
is recommended that countries that have tourism as a thrust industry,
form an international body whose objective would be to address this
global issue of harassment in tourist destinations.
it not our responsibility to create an environment that provides peace
and tranquility to our tourists?
writer, Anura S. Lokuhetty, is director operations, Confifi Group. He
has more than 20 years of resort experience in Sri Lanka and has done
an indepth study in respect of this global problem of tourist