SLTDA to train Human resources for Kalpitiya


By Ifham Nizam

With mass scale development projects booming in the new tourist paradise of Kalpitiya, plans are under way to train more quality Tour Operator Assistants and Boat Operators with the guidance of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

The Kalpitiya tourism project involves the construction of a huge resort: 17 hotels with 5,000 rooms and 10,000 beds.

Turtle Conservation Programme (TCP) Secretary, Marine Turtle Specialist, Lalith Ekanayake told The Island Financial Review that like they (TCP) turned encroachers into legal nest protectors, they want to put operators into a legal frame with issuance of a training license for a better recognition and a higher income level.

He says Boat Operators earn between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 12,000 per tour depending on the distance. "These operators are already into promotional campaigns on mangroves and Whale and Dolphin Watching," he added.

However, he says they lack training and knowledge on the subject. He believes with proper training both Boat Operators and Tour Operators could earn much more and improve their living standards.

Recently a workshop was conducted at the Tania Nature Resort, Kalpitiya to train boat operators and tour guides in these aspects.

"Our target is to improve them to get the low-budget tourists as affluent visitors would be handled by the upcoming hotel sector in the area," he said.

The workshop was targeted at operators who are in the business, of the 79 who took part in the programme about 60 will be given a recognised license that will be renewed every year.

He says following the training, many in the area-mostly unemployed- had expressed their willingness to take part in future similar training programmes.

TCP is currently implementing a community based mangrove ecosystem conservation programme in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Nature Forum (SLNF) and Ocean Resource Conservation Association (ORCA).

The programme is financially assisted by the IUCN under the Mangrove for Future programme.

This programme aims to develop Eco Tourism and Home Stay programme in the Kalpitiya area to provide alternative income for the local community members who depend on the mangroves eco system in a destructive manner.

Promotion of the community based nature tourism in Kalpitiya area as an alternative source of income for the local community members is one of the activities identified by the project proposal, Ekanayake added.

The Kalpitiya Navy and Department of Wildlife Conservation also participated for the inauguration ceremony.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...