To strengthen the safety and security of Tourists and increase the tourist police presence in the country, State Minister of Tourism Promotions Arundika Fernando along with Sri Lanka Tourism Officials met with the Acting IGP of Sri Lanka Police Mr. Chandana Wickramaratne last week.
Considering the current situation, several recommendations were discussed. All popular tourist destinations from Colombo to down south, to have Tourist Police presence, increase the presence of Tourist Police at Ella, including Kandy & Galle Fort Railway Stations, Have a separate Tourist Police Unit at the existing police stations ideally including female officers, Tourist Police to wear a Jacket and/or a band to distinguish themselves as tourist police, Tourist Police cadre to be increased substantially to meet the safety requirements of the tourism industry, Body camera to be provided to the tourist police and 1912 to be used as the 24 hours Call Center dedicated to Tourism, Tourist Police assistance to be provided for hotels on request to properties willing to provide space for tourist police in their premises, Police Assistance to make it mandatory for all Tuk Tuk, Taxi drivers including Uber and Pickme drivers to have a notice inside the vehicle with the photo of the driver, name, Identification Number, QR code and 119 for Emergency, SLTDA to provide on monthly basis details of unregistered Travel Agents, Guides and other unregistered establishments/services for necessary action by the Police were some of the key recommendations.
“As per President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s manifesto annual tourism arrivals are expected to reach 7 million in the future and currently, there are serious issues on the safety of tourists due to the lack of tourist police presence. We believe these recommendations will help solve the existing issues related to safety and security of the tourists and the industry” State Minister of Tourism Promotions shared.
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