Sri Lanka officially announced the launch of a tourist-friendly tourist service. Under the initiative, a selected number of tuk tuk drivers will be trained. Upon completion, these drivers will be awarded a special ID from the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority (SLTDA). Additionally, the trained drivers will be given a “tourist friendly” logo as well. This would essentially help tourists easily identify verified drivers.
Care for a tourist friendly tuk tuk?
The service was launched yesterday at the Galle Face Green. Over 650 tuk tuk drivers have been trained as tour guides and were awarded certificates along with the logo. The initial phase of the program will see the execution of the service within the Colombo district. Following which, the service will cover the rest of the island, particularly the major tourist cities.
It’s obvious that tuk tuk’s are the most popular mode of transport for a lot of tourists visiting the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Whether it’s a PickMe to get to Galle Face, or a regular tuk tuk to see the view at Lipton’s Seat, the three-wheelers are probably the most convenient way to get by for both locals as well as tourists. At present, there are over a million tuk tuk’s in operation within Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe commented on how travelers utilizing public transport would first prioritize safety, and that the responsibility falls on the government. He went on to encourage the drivers to learn foreign languages such as German, Hindi, Cantonese, etc. which would enable them to provide a better service to the tourists.
“Even to train them in foreign languages, the government will help them” – PM Ranil Wickramasinghe
Hoping for the best
Indeed, the initiative should be commended on the relevant authorities’ efforts to promote tourism. It’s no secret that tourism is a growing industry in Sri Lanka. According to the SLTDA, 2018 thus far has seen a 15.3% growth (YoY) So its refreshing to see these type of programs. But whether these programs will play out as one would expect, only time can tell. We at Travel Diaries wish this tourist-friendly tuk tuk program all success.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think this sort of initiative will work out for Sri Lanka? Let us know in the comments below.