Sri Lanka relaxes registration criteria for small hotels to secure health certificates

sri lanka tourism

Sri Lanka’s small hotels which have developed from serving tourists through global booking engines will be given provisional licenses to get Covind-19 health certification to operate when the country opens for tourists in the future, the country’s tourism promotion agency said.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said about 60% of the industry is estimated to be in the small and medium sector and there were about 50,000 businesses providing rooms through booking agencies like, and, Economy Next reports.

“After a series of consultations with the SME sector and to support them during this pandemic and in any future crisis, SLTDA encourages the SMEs in the tourism sector to register with us,” Director General of SLTDA Dhammika Wijayasinghe said in a statement.

“To help the SME sector, we have decided to relax our registration criteria. They can initially opt for a provisional license for 6 months and they could register with us fully later.”

Sri Lanka is planning to open the tourism sector with health certification but many of the smaller entities are not registered with the state tourism authority, the Economy Next report says.

The quality and service levels of listed rooms are made transparent (disclosure regulation) by a running review and rating system, backed up by complaints and refund procedure (usually booking credits) enforced by the booking engines which some frequent users say is superior to any state-regulated system in those countries. State regulators usually end up with broad-brush merit regulations, the Economy Next report says.

“Tourism is undoubtedly one of the most affected industries in the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and to help the industry, the Cabinet approved a series of relief measures to tourism service providers registered with Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority,” Sri Lanka Tourism chief Kimarli Fernando said.