Australia supports a new home-stay project in Sri Lanka to offer employment for women while promoting tourism - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Australia supports a new home-stay project in Sri Lanka to offer employment for women while promoting tourism

Australia supports a new home-stay project in Sri Lanka to offer employment for women while promoting tourism

Australia is reportedly supporting a new home-stay project in Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast that is targeted at offering employment opportunities for women while diversifying the region’s tourism that is mostly limited to surfing and safaris.
The Australian High Commission has reportedly said in a statement the home-stays in Pamana, in the Ampara District, add local flavour to a naturally appealing destination that is slowly gaining fame.
According to reports, the project is supported by the Australian Government’s Market Development Facility (MDF) programme, which is working to diversify tourism in Sri Lanka.
It has signed up Safari Panama, one of the few tourism operators in the area, having built up a reputation for wildlife safari at Kumana National Park and beach camping among tourists looking for something more than catching the waves.
Panama is a small town about 14 kilometers from Arugam Bay, a famed surfing destination.
“We have many home-stays in Panama,” Priyantha Pushpakumara, Safari Panama owner and the chief entrepreneur of the area’s tourism scene has been quoted as saying.
“Most of them are run by the women of the household, whose husbands work as day labourers and sometimes fishers,” the statement from the Australian High Commission has quoted him as saying. “Tourists enjoy staying in these because they love the ‘homely’ experience, and especially the home-cooked food.”
Reports state that Pushpakumara acts as tour guide cum travel agent for the Panama tourism scene, encouraging his wildlife and camping tourists to board at the home-stays.
Supported by MDF, Pushpakumara has been working to formalise his role, and just signed agreements with seven female home-stay owners who will be officially promoted by Safari Panama, with standardised rates and a more streamlined service offering.
In addition, Safari Panama is reportedly creating a network of individual safari jeeps and tuk-tuks to offer safe and reliable transport for tourists interested in visiting the beach or Kumana.
Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson has hailed the project for drawing the community into tourism gains: “For Panama, this is an excellent way to join Sri Lanka’s growing tourism market, and for women a way to join an industry in which they often face many barriers to entry.”

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is on a continuous growth path and stakeholders are currently on the lookout for new investment opportunities in the promotion and development in the field of tourism. There are many investment projects to increase the number of hotel rooms in the country and to venture into new forms of tourism currently in progress in Sri Lanka. The home-stay promotion project backed by the Australians is yet another new venture in the field of tourism. Given the latest developments in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, it is an ideal investment opportunity for foreign businesses/investors.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20180724/Z_1

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