Can't see images? View the online version of the newsletter here

Vol - 03

Tuk Tuk, Sri Lanka Tourism’s Newest Service

In September 2009, Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) launched the 'Tourist Friendly Tuk Tuk’ project to collaborate World Tourism Day. The three-wheeler taxi service popularly referred to as the 'Tuk Tuk', will be available in the city and other popular tourist locations. Each taxi will be fitted with a meter and would comply with tourist standards set by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

As its first phase, SLT has set up a fleet of fifty vehicles in Colombo. Over the next few months, SLT will introduce more Tuk Tuks in and around other tourist cities and towns. Tourists can obtain their service by calling on the 24-hour call line.

Research reveals that a common tourist grievance with regards to the country’s transport network is that the private taxis charge exorbitant rates and drive recklessly. Hence, the SLTDA has introduced a training course that each. Tuk Tuk driver will have to attend in order to obtain his SLT licence. The course would also ensure that vehicles comply with environmental standards. Each taxi will display the new brand ‘Tourist Friendly Tuk Tuk’ and would be decorated with colour paintings, featuring local attractions, and traditional ‘Liyaval’. The driver’s identification and licence (issued by the SLTDA) would also be prominently displayed in the vehicle.

Sri Lanka Celebrates World Tourism Day 2009

The Ministry of Tourism along with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) organised the World Tourism Day 2009 (WTD09) Celebrations. The main celebrations were held at Marine Drive (Colombo) and Mount Lavinia Beach on the September 27. Celebrations were also held in other parts of the country with the support of provincial administrations and stakeholders.

In Mount Lavinia a Beach Clean-up and Tree Planting Campaign was held. Guide Boards on ‘Pleasant Environment’ were also hung and a trailer for garbage collection on the beach was placed.

At Marine Drive, Colombo the Honourable Minister for Tourism, Mr. Nandana Gunatillake inaugurated the Beach Clean-up and Tree Planting Campaign. A Painting Competition and Kite Competition were also held. Approximately 22 schools participated in the Painting Competition, which was based on four different themes and involved painting a section of the wall adjoining the Bambalapitiya Railway Station.

“Two significant initiatives launched by the Sri Lanka Tourism to celebrate World Tourism Day 2009 were ‘ Tourist Friendly Tuk Tuk’ and ‘Cleaning & Greening of Marine Drive’” said Malraj B.Kiriella, Director International Relations & Research of the SLTDA, the main organizer of event who spearheaded these two special projects.

The ‘Cleaning and Greening Campaign’ is a long term project that hopes to cultivate a ‘Pleasant Environment’ in Sri Lanka. Marine Drive and Mount Lavinia Beach were the first areas to be ‘Cleaned and Greened’. Over 100 Palm trees and 75 Kottamba trees were planted along Marine Drive. The SLTDA has also introduced a ‘Foster Guardian’ scheme that allows the public to adopt a stretch of land. The SLTDA hopes to take this project to other parts of the country as well.

The ‘Tourist Friendly Tuk Tuk’ is a metered taxi that adheres with SLTDA standards, and can be accessed easily by tourists visiting Sri Lanka. At the launch, 50 Tuk Tuks were introduced in Colombo. Over the year, more Tuk Tuks would be introduced in other popular tourist cities in the island.

A School Awareness Programme on Tourism and Environment was held at the S. De. S Jayasinghe Maha Vidyalaya, Dehiwala on September 24. The programme was held with the assistance of the Western Provincial Education Ministry and the Central Environmental Authority.

Approximately 150 students representing 12 schools participated in the programme. Mr. P.U Rathnayaka (Director DTD & RM SLTDA), Mr. U.P.S Pathirana (Former Director SLTDA), Mr. Dheera Hettiarachchi (SLTDA) and Mr. R. Walpola (Dep. Director CEA) delivered lectures at the programme.

A training programme for all Beach Facilitators (Vendors) was held on September 17. Sponsored by United Traders Association, the event was conducted at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The event was attended by approximately 25 beach facilitators. Mr. P.U Rathnayaka (Director DTD & RM SLTDA), Mr. U.P.S Pathirana (Former Director SLTDA), Mr. W.P. Dayarathne (Former DIG Sri Lanka Police), Mr. Dheera Hettiarachchi (SLTDA), and Mr. Nayanapriya Edirisinghe (OIC, Sri Lanka Tourist Police) delivered lectures on various industry related topics. At the end of the programme, participants were requested to sit for a written examination, which was based on the topics discussed during the programme.

Development Projects

Proposed Holliday Resort at Passikudah

Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) ware entrusted the task of preparing a conceptual master plan for the proposed resort at Passikudah. The SLIA organized a competition among its members to prepare designs/plans for the resort in order to have the best resort in Passikudah. A panel of architects and officers of the SLTDA selected the plan prepared by Design Consortium Limited which in 20 competitors. The plan was presented to SLTDA board members and the prospective investors, Honourable Ministry of Tourism, secretary Ministry of Tourism and Chief Minister of the Eastern Province endorsed the plan. [Copy of Master Plan]

Development for East Coast

An action plan for the development of the East Cost was prepared by Mr.H.M.S.Samaranayak one of the former Chairmen of the Ceylon Tourist Board. The plan identified 24 possible projects for implementation by the SLTDA and SLITHM. The plan refers to many projects varying from capacity building of the province to making some of the attractions visitor friendly.

Kalpitiya Integrated Resort Development Project(KITRP)

The Kalpitiya Integrated Resort Development Project (KITRP) is presently Sri Lanka's biggest tourism development project and offers investors an ideal opportunity to invest in a high yield tourist attraction.

The project’s first development stage is currently underway. Out of the many islands located in the area, tenders for specific blocks of land in five of the prime islands KITRP are on offer. These lands are offered on a long-term lease. Many local and foreign industry giants have expressed their interest and have already submitted their bids.

For more details please refer

World Spice Food Festival 2009

Colombo’s biggest food festival is due to be held for the 4th consecutive year from the 6th - 14th of November. The World Spice Food Festival offers food enthusiasts a wide variety of culinary delights. Under the patronage of the SLTDA, the festival will be officially opened on November 5, at the Waters Edge and the grand finale is to be held at the BMICH on November 15.

Many of Sri Lanka’s leading culinary chefs and experts and signature chefs who will be arriving from various parts of the world will be displaying their skills at the event.

A special feature at the festival is the Global Spice Food Village, which will be held at the Galle Face Green from the 6th – 8th. The Galle Face Green will take a festive air for the first time after its re-opening with live music and entertainment including a Spice Art Competition, Art Exhibition, Crab Cooking Competition and dance performances by the ceylon Kaffirs and other entertainers. Spiced ice-cream and spice tea promotions will also be a feature.

Best wishes from SLTDA


If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, please email to to be removed from our mailing list.