Responsible tourism refers to a “model of tourism that takes into consideration the current and future social, economic and environmental impacts, while addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment as well as host communities”.
The Sri Lankan tourism industry has weathered many storms in recent years, including Covid-19. It would be safe to say that globally, tourism was the hardest hit industry by the Covid-19 pandemic and in Sri Lanka it was no different. What is clear post-pandemic, is that travel and tourism need to be sustainable, in order to survive and thrive. If done the right way, tourism is a wonderful industry and can be a force for good. However, we must accept that the old model is no longer going to work, as the post-pandemic tourism industry will demand a greater sense of consciousness and responsibility towards people and the planet.
In order to meet the standards of Responsible Tourism, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and its operators must focus on minimising the negative social, economic and environmental impacts of their businesses and creating greater economic benefits and opportunities for local communities.