Industrial Exports and Investment Promotion, Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga directed Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairperson Kimarli Fernando to take measures to introduce a new insurance scheme for tourist guides in Sri Lanka.
The top tier of tourist guides representing several Tourist Guide Associations in Sri Lanka urged the Minister Ranatunga to introduce a proper insurance scheme for them to ensure their job security during a recent meeting.
They said the lack of job security due to an absence of an insurance scheme and EPF/ ETF benefits, has affected them vastly. They said that three tourist guides in Sri Lanka were infected with COVID 19 and one person among them had already died.
There are nearly 5000 Tourist Guides across the country registered with the SLTDA. The representatives also request the Minister to introduce a concessionary loan scheme for them. They said that their organisations had written to the Tourism Development Authority requesting that the minimum daily wage be increased to $ US 35. Minister said that the SLTDA has already paid its attention to these requests.
The representatives said unlicensed tourist guides are a big issue and they are often involved in unethical practices including overcharging tourists. The Minister said that action will be taken to prevent these types of unlawful acts in the future and a mechanism will created to regulate tourist guides, chauffeur guides and drivers in the future.