The Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) has launched the adoption of five National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) certificate training courses on adventure tourism in order to standardise and develop the adventure tourism and training sector.
SLITHM took the initiative to begin the certification process under the tourism standards regulations and requirements of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) with NVQ status from Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) as the accreditation body for competency-based assessment.
Accordingly, the five NVQ certificate training courses on adventure tourism will include the watercraft operator (power boat), watercraft operator (paddle boat), trekking/hiking guides, ground control agent and parachute rigger.
"Most of the tourists that are coming to Sri Lanka are now going to outstations. Arugam Bay and Ella have become extremely popular tourist hotspots now, with over 5,000 people visiting these destinations last month. Ella is fully booked year-round. It is important that we have better activities to cater to these travellers," said Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga.
"These are all ad hoc developments in Ella and Arugam Bay. We are now stepping in to provide the necessary infrastructure to these areas with regulation to register these units in order to ensure quality and standards."
Prime Ministers Policy Development Office Director Dr Nandaka Molagoda believes adventure tourism sector is fast emerging and has the potential to expand even further. He pointed out that it took more than a year to come up with these five NVQ certificate training courses on adventure tourism.
Dr. Molagoda commended the stakeholders including Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Army, Lanka Sportreizen, SLITHM, TVEC, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism, Miracle Sri Lanka, National Youth Core, University of Colombo and Sri Lanka Standard Institute for their support to develop the national competency standards as well as the curricula.
Noting that Prime Ministers Policy Development Office has proposed to look at establishing a body within either SLITHM or SLTDA, he urged all stakeholders to come together to build a sustainable model to develop adventure tourism sector. SLITHM Director General Buddhika Hewawasam said that Sri Lanka was moving beyond sun, sea and sand to niche markets with specialised activities.