In 1966, the Government decided to develop tourism in a planned and a systematic manner, after identifying the need to set up an institutional framework. The Ceylon Tourist Board (created by the Ceylon Tourist Board Act No. 10 of 1966) and the Ceylon Hotels Corporation (created by Ceylon Hotels Corporation Act of 1966) were set up duly.
Created to promote rapid economic development, through the development of foreign tourism, the Ceylon Tourist Board (CTB) was a statutory body that allowed greater freedom in decision making and flexibility in financial management.
The legislation also covered the establishment of a national holiday resort company, which planned various types of accommodation and resort areas. Moreover it included the setting up of an authority under the Tourist Board to manage and administer each resort. The Act conferred powers for the Protection of Highways and Places of Scenic Beauty and vested authority in the Ceylon Tourist Board for the Registration and Classification of Tourist Hotels and all other tourist services including travel agencies. The Tourist Development Act of 1968 provided the Ceylon Tourist Board with the statutory authority to develop tourism on a planned and controlled basis.
In October 2007 the Tourism Act No 38 of 2005 came into effect. With the circulation of the new Tourism act, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board Act No 10 of 1966, which was in effect for the past 41 years, was replaced.
In terms of the provisions contained in the new act, the Tourism Development Fund was legally constituted, with 2 main sources remitting finances to the fund. By way of 1/3 of the Airport Tax collections and 1% of the Turnover of all Sri Lanka Tourist Board registered establishments. The Act provided for the setting up of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Promotions Bureau, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and Sri Lanka Institute of Hotel Management, thereby replacing the Sri Lanka Tourist Board.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is the authoritative government body responsible for handling all marketing and promotional activities related to the travel and tourism industry of Sri Lanka. The Bureau headed by the Chairman, Managing Director and a Board of Directors comprising of representatives from the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism etc.
SLTPB’s main objectives would be marketing and promoting of Sri Lanka directly and indirectly as a tourist and travel destination of quality specified in accordance with the Tourism Development Plan in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau and Sri Lanka Institute of Hotel Management and with all travel and tourism stakeholders. These efforts are focused to promote Sri Lanka as a gateway to the South Asian Regions and making Sri Lanka known as the centre of excellence in tourism management and development in the region.
For more information: http://srilanka.travel/