Measures will be taken to establish tourism and hotel management training schools at district level. This will be implemented In line with the H.E President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's Vistas of Prosperity, the national policy framework. Hon. Tourism Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga said that four new hotel schools are planned to be opened this year.

Hon. Minister stated these views while addressing a progress review meeting of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management. The meeting was held recently (05) at the Monara Hall of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management.

The Hotel School, or Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management under the Ministry of Tourism, is the only and leading institution in the country to produce professionals in the field of hotel and tourism. In addition to the main hotel school in Colombo, there are hotel schools in Kandy, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Bandarawela, Koggala, Ratnapura, Pasikudah and Jaffna. Hon.Minister Prasanna 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 management. Hon. Minister also pointed out the need to upgrade these courses as degree courses. The Minister said that discussions are already underway with the University Grants Commission in this regard. The Minister also instructed the authorities to introduce an introductory diploma course for youths who are not qualified the GCE Ordinary Level Examination but are employed in the field and are interested in the field.

His Excellency the President's policy framework mentions that the number of skilled and unskilled service providers in the tourism sector will be increased to one million. The Minister pointed out that there should be a change in the prevailing attitude in the country towards the new tourism sector in order to achieve that goal. He said that a new methodology has already been planned for that. Hon.Minister Prasanna Ranatunga instructed that the awarding of certificates should be carried out without any delay and that the courses should also be started very soon.

Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Mr. Hettiarachchi, Additional Secretaries Mr.Waruna Samaradiwakara and Mrs. Deepa Sannasuriya, Director General of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Mrs.Nadeeka Wataliyadda and a number of officials were present at the occasion.


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