Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

About Us

The Government of Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority is committed to establishing and positioning Sri Lanka as Asia's most treasured and greenest island. With its beautiful beaches, warm and friendly people, strong nature, culture and adventure offering, Sri Lanka hopes to raise its profile to that of an Asian tourism icon and make it the largest foreign exchange earner, benefiting the stakeholders of tourism and the people of Sri Lanka.

Our Mission is to inspire, build and deliver 'Sri Lanka Tourism' to be a key driver of Sri Lanka's economic growth. Our goal is to delight our customers with passion and excellence, thus enriching incomes of our stakeholders and benefiting our community.

Institutional Structure

History at SLTDA

In 1966, the Government decided to develop tourism in a planned and a systematic manner, after identifying the need to set up an institutional framework. The Ceylon Tourist Board (created by the Ceylon Tourist Board Act No. 10 of 1966) and the Ceylon Hotels Corporation (created by Ceylon Hotels Corporation Act of 1966) were set up duly.

Created to promote rapid economic development, through the development of foreign tourism, the Ceylon Tourist Board (CTB) was a statutory body that allowed greater freedom in decision making and flexibility in financial management.

The first Board of the Ceylon Tourist Board were Mr. A.C.H. De Soysa, Mr. H. WJayawardana QC, Mr. Ralph Deraniyagala, Mr. Upali Senanayaka,

Dr. P.R. Thyagaraja, Mr. Chandra Cooray (nominee of the Ministry of Finance) and the Commissioner of Local Government as representative of Local Government.

The Ceylon Hotels Corporation was a Joint Stock Company with public and private sector involvement. It was intended to be the commercial arm of the Government for the purpose of developing accommodation and other facilities for tourists.

The Tourist Development Act, enacted in 1968, allowed the Ceylon Tourist Board to obtain prime land and private land (through compensation) for development purposes. Lending institutions advancing money for tourist development and construction programmes were given guarantees for securing their credits. The legislation also covered the establishment of a national holiday resort company, which planned various types of accommodation and resort areas. Moreover it included the setting up of an authority under the Tourist Board to manage and administer each resort. The Act conferred powers for the Protection of Highways and Places of Scenic Beauty and vested authority in the Ceylon Tourist Board for the Registration and Classification of Tourist Hotels and all other tourist services including travel agencies. The Tourist Development Act of 1968 provided the Ceylon Tourist Board with the statutory authority to develop tourism on a planned and controlled basis.

The Board’s objectives are as follows

  • Encourage, promote and develop tourist travel
  • Encourage, promote and develop adequate, efficient and attractive tourist services
Given the global importance placed on tourism at that time, the Board carried out the following initiatives to develop and promote tourism in a systematic manner.
  • Enlisted the services of an experienced and internationally reputed Tourism Expert, Mr. S.N. Chib, to assist the Board as an Advisor on all aspects of tourism, for a period of four years.
  • Simplified and standardized Frontier Formalities to facilitate travel into and out of the country.
  • Prepared a ten year Tourism Development Master Plan commencing from 1967, with funding assistance from USAID. For this purpose the Board commissioned the services of a Hawaii based Multi-disciplinary team of tourism experts.
  • Advised the government to enact enabling legislation to vest the CTB with powers to acquire land for tourism development purposes, introduce classification codes, registration and licensing of all tourist facilities and services, to impose price control regulations etc. This was done by enacting the Tourist Development Act No. 14 of 1968.
  • Established the first National Holiday Resort at Bentota, with provision for development of several hotels by the private sector by providing all infrastructure services.

The Board also identified and developed six main functional areas.

  1. Tourism Research and Statistics
  2. Tourism Planning and Development
  3. Tourism Marketing and Promotion
  4. Regulation of tourist facilities and services in terms of the Tourist Development Act.
  5. Domestic Tourism and Community Relations
  6. Tourism Manpower Development

Four servicing departments, Secretariat and Legal, Administration and Personnel, Finance and Accounts and Internal Audit were set up. The Ceylon Hotel School was brought under the management of the Board as part of its responsibilities to provide trained manpower for the successful operation of the upcoming hotel industry.

Organization Act

The Tourism Act No 38 of 2005 came into effect in October 2007. With the circulation of the new Tourism act, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board Act No 10 of 1966, which was in effect for the past 41 years, was replaced.

In terms of the provisions contained in the new act, the Tourism Development Fund was legally constituted, with 2 main sources remitting finances to the fund. By way of 1/3 of the Airport Tax collections and 1% of the Turnover of all Sri Lanka Tourist Board registered establishments. The Act provided for the setting up of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, thereby replacing the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. [More]

Board of Management

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority is governed by an independent Board of Directors, which is its highest decision-making body.

The Board comprises twelve directors who between them possess much expertise and experience in the field of tourism, hospitality services, corporate governance and community leadership. Most of them have risen to the peak of their careers and hold high level positions in some of the country's leading tourist establishments.

Organization structures

Organization Structure Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Download PDF