Colombo – The establishment of the office of Commissioner for Tourism Administration ensures justice to any aggrieved party in the event of any injustice, unfair treatment or failure to perform any statutory obligations by any agencies in the tourism sector and this new office comes into operation with new institutional infrastructure under the Tourism Act of 2005 and President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed Appeal Court Judge LK Wimalachandra on the recommendation of Chief Justice Sarath Silva as the Commissioer for Tourism Administration.
Speaking at the occasion of the establishment of the office of Commissioner for Tourism Administration,held at Sri Lanka Hotel School, Milinda Moragoda,. Minister of Tourism, said that the government has attempted to create a partnership between the government and the private sector in order to develop the tourism industry and three objectives set out for the Ministry were achieved such as creating a working “Sangha Advisory Council; appointment of an authority to recommend solutions on industry disputes and to distribute the book “Buddhism, Culture and Sri Lanka Pilgrim’s Guide”in Sri Lankan Hotels.
Chief Justice Sarath Silva said that if the government could appoint such commissioners to all the ministries, it would benefit as the commissioner’s task would be that of an Ombudsman.
A new institutional infrastructure came into operation with the promulgation of the Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005. This includes Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to formulate policies and plans for the tourism sector; to have jurisdiction over tourism development areas; to issue licenses for different enterprises; to prescribe, regulate and enforce standards; and, to administer the Tourism Development Fund.
SLTDA will continue to be responsible for tourism infrastructure development work as provided for under the Tourism Development Act No. 14 of 1968. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) for marketing and promoting of Sri Lanka as a travel destination. Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) to promote Sri Lanka as a venue for international, regional and domestic conventions, meetings and exhibitions. Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) to undertake human resource development programmes in the tourism sector.
Given this back drop the Tourism Minister has taken this long over due initiative to set up a dynamic structure which can ensure the delivery of justice to any aggrieved party either as individuals or as organizations in the event of any injustice, unfair treatment or failure to perform any statuary obligations by any agencies in the Tourism sector prevails. For this purpose His Lordship Hon. L K Wimalachandra, Judge of Court of Appeal has been appointed by H E the President & will take up office shortly. The complaint forwarding procedure will be announced formally.