The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the official government institution in charge of regularising the country’s tourism industry as well as establishing, positioning, and developing Sri Lanka as a leading destination for international visitors, entered into an MOU with the Australian Government-funded Skills for Inclusive Growth Programme (S4IG)managed by Palladium International Group, towards several strategic areas of cooperation.
S4IG is a programme of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in accordance with the terms of a Subsidiary Agreement signed on 31 March 2022 between DFAT and the Sri Lankan State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Training, Research, and Innovations.
The parties agreed on the cooperation framework to support key strategic initiatives including revitalising national Tour Guides operations, to test destination development initiatives that engage visitors within rural and remote communities, initiatives to improve the performance of tourism MSME businesses through better skills and human resource practices, to raise awareness on the Safety and Security of staff and visitors, improve evacuation protocols and to disseminate training resources totourism MSMEs.
By signing the MOU, SLTDA and S4IG will review and revise practice standards, codes of conduct, and support skill training for Tour Guides and encourage ongoingprofessional development to improve product quality and services. This includes ensuring training is aligned with industry and government standards. This professional development initiative shall include selected modules in E-Tourism (especially E-operation), content creation, photography and video animation, interpretation skills, health and safety and customer care.
Further, S4IG will support the development of a programme for women tour guides with industry partners. This will ensure alignment with agreed standards and include on-the-job training in partnership with national and international tour operators.