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Sri Lanka Tourism supported by EU to develop wellness tourism

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Authentic Ayurvedic Medicine

Supporting the speedy revival of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Sri Lanka, has allocated funds to help strengthen the local wellness tourism capacity for Sri Lanka to transform into an attractive destination for wellness tourism. This will be carried out under the guidance of Sri Lanka Tourism. The resulting ‘Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism Stakeholder Project’ will be officially launched on 15 February 2022.

The launch will involve key stakeholders of the project where details of the project will be shared, followed by a group discussion on wellness tourism capacity development. A follow up meeting will be held on the 25th of February to share findings and recommendations from all stakeholder meetings, site meetings and discussions with wellness tourism resorts, hotels and training providers. A presentation of the findings determined through surveys carried out amongst wellness tourism organizations and training providers will also be presented this month.

The EU Delegation has contracted IBF International Consulting to undertake a technical assistance assignment to develop short term course curricula for Ayurveda therapists and wellness facility management in Sri Lanka in order to provide an authentic experience to tourists to grow the wellness tourism component for the country.

The Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism, Kimarli Fernando commented, “Wellness and nature are high on the priority list for travelers presently and Sri Lanka has much to offer on both counts. Considering the lush greenery, nature, Ayurveda, yoga, spirituality and culture in Sri Lanka, it is one of the top wellness destinations in the world and we are grateful to the EU Delegation in Sri Lanka for recognizing and investing in building further capacity for the country to promote this niche tourism. This partnership will help strengthen Sri Lanka’s wellness tourism product.”

The project will also consist of a ‘train the trainer’ and a supervised pilot roll-out course. Paul Penfold (Project Team Leader) will be in Sri Lanka for a 2-week mission to meet stakeholders and assess needs together with Dr Attanayake (National Expert) from 14 – 26 February.

Paul Penfold, MEd, is an experienced development consultant specializing in tourism strategy, HRD, educational technology, curriculum development, programme design and quality management. He has lived and worked in Asia (including Sri Lanka) for more than 25 years and has also taught hospitality/tourism in universities in Hong Kong, Myanmar, China and Vietnam.

Dr. Pushpika Attanayake is an Ayurvedic consultant, researcher, and a wellness expert with over 15 years of experience in Sri Lanka and abroad. Her areas of expertise extend to yoga, naturopathy, and counselling. She is a visiting lecturer in Ayurveda and Wellness Tourism at the University of Colombo, and has worked as an Ayurvedic Consultant/Spa Manager for leading hotels, including the Fortress Resort and Spa and Anantara Kalutara Resort in Sri Lanka, as well as the Royal Ayurveda, in Dubai Healthcare City. She has also served in a stint at the Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Drug Corporation.

With the wellness traveler generating at least five times more earnings than the standard tourist, Sri Lanka Tourism is strategically working with key stakeholders to position the destination to cater to the demands of this high yielding segment. With the assistance of external experts, the Authorities are focusing on product and infrastructure development, training and guidance to the SME sector and the larger industry, targeted marketing and promoting investor opportunities.

With its Ayurveda and yoga traditions, rich heritage and culture, authentic and distinctive cuisine, warm and hospitable people, abundant flora and fauna and a multitude of water-based activities the island is ideally positioned to welcome the wellness traveler. Sri Lanka will have to compete with regional wellness destinations such as Kerala and Bali, destinations that have been focusing on health and treatment-based experiences for many years. The island can however elevate its offering above health to holistic wellness enabling the differentiation of product to appeal to the various segments of travelers within the sphere of Wellness Tourism.



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Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions 

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Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.

The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.

The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.

Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.

The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.

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CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.

• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.

• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.

• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.

• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.

• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.

• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.

• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.

The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.

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CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT 

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CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.

 CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.

 Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”

In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.

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