- Four new hotel schools are slated to open this year
- To upgrade hotel school courses to degree level
- SL expects to increase tourism sector service providers to 1mn
Steps will be taken to set up tourism training schools at district level, in line with President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s policy document ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.
Accordingly, four new hotel schools are planned to be opened this year, he said addressing a progress review meeting of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), recently.
The SLITHM, under the Tourism Ministry, is the only and leading institution in the country to produce professionals in the field of hospitality and travel industry.
In addition to the main hotel school in Colombo, there are hotel schools in Kandy, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Bandarawela, Koggala, Ratnapura, Pasikudah and Jaffna.
Ranatunga pointed out that the government is planning to start hotel schools covering all districts in the country.
These hotel schools offer various courses related to the tourism and hotel industry. Ranatunga also pointed out the need to upgrade these courses to degree-level courses. He said that discussions are already underway with the University Grants Commission in this regard.
He also instructed authorities to introduce an introductory diploma course in addition to the existing courses for young people who do not have GCE Ordinary Level qualifications but are employed and are interested in the field.
The number of trained and untrained service providers in the tourism sector will be increased to one million, according to the President’s policy statement.
Ranatunga pointed out that in order to achieve that goal, there should be a change in the prevailing attitude in the country towards the new tourism sector.