Tourism ministry & Police to enhance safety and security of tourists

21 February 2020 10:17 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The necessity to strengthen the safety and security of tourists and increase the Tourist Police presence in the country, has been discussed in detail during a meeting held between Tourism Promotions State Minister Arundika Fernando, Sri Lanka Tourism officials and the Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratne last week.

Considering the current situation, several recommendations were discussed: All popular tourist destinations extending from Colombo down south, to have Tourist Police presence; increasing the presence of Tourist Police at Ella and Kandy, Galle & Fort Railway Stations; Having a separate Tourist Police Unit at existing police stations ideally including female officers; Tourist Police to wear a Jacket and/or a band to distinguish themselves as Tourist Police; increasing the Tourist Police cadre substantially to meet the safety requirements of the tourism industry; providing body cameras to the tourist police and Hotline '1912' to be used as the '24 hours Call Centre' specifically related to Tourism; Tourist Police assistance to be provided for hotels on request to properties willing to provide space for tourist police in their premises; Police assistance to make it mandatory for all Three-wheelers, Taxi drivers, including Uber and Pickme drivers to have a notice inside the vehicle with the photo of the driver, name, identification number, QR code and 119 for Emergency; SLTDA to provide on a monthly basis details of unregistered travel agents, guides and other unregistered establishments/services for necessary action by the Police; were some of the key recommendations discussed.

“As per President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election manifesto, annual tourism arrivals are targeted to reach 7 million in the future and currently, there are serious issues on the safety of tourists due to the lack of tourist police presence,” the state minister said.

“We believe these recommendations will help solve the existing issues related to safety and security of the tourists and the industry” the state minister added. 

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