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Industry stakeholders condemn foreign tourists engaging in business

27 Feb 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • Tourists on visit visas not legally permitted to conduct business activities

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam 

Tourism is a crucial sector for bolstering the national economy through increased foreign exchange earnings. However, industry stakeholders are firm in their view that allowing international travellers to engage in business is unacceptable.  

While establishing ventures is nothing new, the lack of action to address this issue has made it somewhat commonplace in Sri Lanka.  

 Legally, those on tourist visas are not permitted to conduct business activities in Sri Lanka. However, such activities persist in certain parts of the island nation, facilitated by informal partnerships with locals.  

In response to the issue, the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) stated that it has no objection to tourists obtaining visas for 30 days or more.  

“What we oppose is unauthorized business activities, regardless of nationality,” SLAITO told Daily Mirror.  
Reflecting similar sentiments, the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) asserted that Sri Lanka is keen on uplifting the local tourism sector and has been successful in doing so, but tourists coming in should abide by the laws of the country and refrain from engaging in business activities.  

Some of the key concerns regarding tourists engaging in business activities include unfair competition and economic leakage.  




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