Tourism has traditionally been the third largest foreign exchange earner in Sri Lanka. Tourism contributes a significant percentage; 4.9% direct contribution in 2018, to Sri Lanka’s GDP. Sri Lanka recorded over 1.9 million tourist arrivals in 2019, a 21% drop from the 2020 owing to the aftermath of the April 2019 Easter Terror Attacks.
Still, businesses across the sector are struggling due unprecedented challenges faced in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently, the ongoing economic crisis. As a result, tourism has seen a drop of over 50% of arrivals since 2018. This has resulted in the closure of many businesses as well as the loss of both income and employment in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The GIZ SME Sector Development programme makes use of a number of initiatives and programmes to support tourism SMEs that are driven and employ sustainable business practices, helping them to persevere and have hope in the face of the numerous obstacles they have had to overcome. To help them survive until Sri Lankan tourism resumes, the programme presents enterprise development techniques to increase their sales and visibility.
After the successful introduction of atingi to the Sri Lankan hospitality sector, a number of 1080 enrollments and 738 completed diplomas could be counted, with an almost 50:50 ration between male and female participants (49% male, 48% female). All resulted in a raffle draft where the students with successfully completed courses were able to win sustainable travel packages - fitting the topic of the tourism and hospitality sector in Sri Lanka.
atingi learner Neluni Rajapaksha shares her experiences learning with atingi.
The programme is part of the eAcademy Tourism and Hospitality initiative which was developed in collaboration between atingi, the digital learning platform of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Sector Project Cooperation with the Private Sector Component on Sustainable Development through Tourism. Targeted at industry staff and management, including young adults attending TVET schools and universities, learners can choose their path to enhance their professional skills and gain a digital certificate, which they can share with employers as proof of their achievement. Currently, the initiative consists of 45 web-based learning courses in tourism and hospitality in English, French, and Spanish. Many of these courses are deliberately granular in focus to guarantee low entry requirements and quick results for learners. Through eAcademy, approximately 55,000 learners enrolled and 47,000 have completed courses.
The atingi coures in sustainable tourism and hospitality can now also be accessed through the new TUI Care Foundation e-Academy. The new platform is powered by atingi and offers free learning content in the form of self-paced learning courses with two focus areas: Career building and sustainable tourism. The platform can be accessed here.
If you are also interested in using atingi to host e-learning courses, you can find more information in our partner section here.