May 06, Colombo: A group of Japanese parliamentarians has arrived in Sri Lanka to explore the possibility of promoting tourism between the two countries through the indigenous Ayurveda medical treatment system.
Dr. Arai Hiroyuki, a Japanese Member of Parliament has said that they aim to develop tourism between Japan and Sri Lanka with Ayurveda in the forefront during a meeting with the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa Monday (May 05).
Dr. Hiroyuki has noted that vast resources normally not evident in the other countries are available in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Ayurveda system is very popular among the Japanese people.
He added that the arrivals of Japanese tourists have increased from 10,000 to 20,000 and most of the tourists are women and children.
However, lack of guides has been a problem for the tourists, Dr. Hiroyuki has pointed out. He has asked the Minister to implement a proper programme to fulfill this requirement.
The Japanese MP has added that Japan is ready to contribute towards building the capacity of local tourist guides by providing training and knowledge sharing with experienced tourist guides in Japan. He has also requested government mediation to nominate commercial entities where Japanese tourists will be able to make trustworthy purchases.
Minister Rajapaksa has appreciated the Japanese government's assistance towards development in the country and assured that assistance will be extended to Japanese investors to develop tourism and Ayurveda system in the future.
Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Bhashwara Senanka Gunarathna also participated in the discussions.