Aitken Spense calls for visitor quotas at wildlife parks

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings has called for better government regulations and enforcement to protect the island’s wildlife parks, which are a top tourist attraction.

Sri Lanka’s key competitive advantage lies in its unique diversity of the natural environment and its multiple attractions of nature, history and culture within a small land mass, said Harry Jayawardena, chairman of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings.

“However, our natural resources are now in danger due to lack of policies and controls, and the possibility of the proverbial ‘killing of the goose that lays the golden egg’ instead of a long-term and sustainable approach.”

Overcrowding at national parks has not only become an eyesore, but also resulted in threats to its inhabitants, he told shareholders in the company’s annual report.

“It is our fervent hope that authorities would introduce and implement strict regulations and a visitor quota to facilitate long-term sustainability of our natural resources as well as the tourism industry.”

It is also vital that policies and regulations are aimed at the long term and remain consistent across regimes, to ensure sustainability of resources as well as investor confidence, Jayawardena said.

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