Sri Lanka commissions ‘Risk Assessment’ of most frequented tourist sites
The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) yesterday announced the successful completion of a ‘Safety Assessment’ of the most frequented tourist sites in Sri Lanka.
This Risk Assessment was commissioned by SLAITO and carried out by Malcolm Ellis, Head of Specialist and Activity Health & Safety of TUI Travel PLC over a period of 11 days.
As part of this Safety Assessment, a large number of sites, venues, locations and activities were ‘risk assessed’ so that measures can be taken to prevent any possible eventuality.
Speaking at the press Conference here in Colombo, President of SLAITO Nilmin Nanayakkara said, “Risk assessments are internationally recognised as basic good practice for all tour operators, especially in the area of adventure tours and for specialists in activity-based holidays. This due diligence was done with the intention of creating awareness amongst the Industry members to prevent or minimise the risk levels that our valuable clients are open to. As Sri Lanka’s apex body of inbound tour operators, SLAITO thus deemed it relevant to commission this assessment for the betterment of the country’s tourist industry”.
This assessment will mainly help hotels and tour operators to alert tourists of potential dangers such as dangerous seas, possible accidents during white water rafting and even when visiting ancient sites during certain times of the year (eg : slipperiness due to bad weather).
Ellis covered many areas in Sri Lanka including Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Paseekuda, Trincomalee, Hill Country, Yala, Mirissa and Negombo.
Risk assessments take many forms - some simple, some complex. This ‘Specialist & Activity Approach’ is not the simplest, nor is it the most sophisticated. It is however flexible and adaptable so that a whole range of issues can be considered in the right context. Risks can also be appropriately considered so that sensible, practical outputs can be obtained.
As Head of Specialist & Activity Health and Safety TUI Travel PLC, Malcolm Ellis leads and manages the Central Sector Health and Safety Team with regards to the implementation, support and development of safety management systems for all sector businesses. These are both customer and employee focussed and aim to prevent, minimise, and where appropriate, defend claims for personal injury, ill health or negligence and protect businesses and individuals within them from litigation and liability and bringing disrepute to the destination.
Always commercially sensitive, Malcolm encourages a practical approach to managing H&S and takes every opportunity to dispel the myth that H&S is about ‘not doing stuff’ and says “it’s about being risk aware, not risk averse”.
The membership of SLAITO consists of the Travel Agents who handle foreign tourists in Sri Lanka on a brochure program, foreign travel organizations in the back-to-back group tour and charter businesses that are principles of the local members, and, charter airlines that bring back-to-back group tours to Sri Lanka. SLAITO members bring almost 80% of the tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka.
Among its primary objectives are the promotion and fostering of rapid and long term growth of tourism by providing and maintaining a high standard of excellence in the services provided for the comfort and convenience of the tourist, offering good value for money.
- Asian Tribune -