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CLICK HERE for a copy of the LINC Project Final Report.

CLICK HERE to download The Travel Foundation’s excellent manual on An Inclusive Approach to Improving Livelihoods and Reducing Tourist Hassle

LEARNING INVOLVING AND NURTURING COMMUNITY (LINC)

THE ISSUE
The LINC programme was established in partnership with the UK Travel Foundation in response to reported conflict between hoteliers, tourists and beach traders.

Persistent hassling of hotel guests had led hotels to erect security fences along the beach/hotel perimeters, restricting opportunities for beach traders to engage with the tourists.
This, in turn, increased tensions between hotel staff and beach traders (sometimes resulting in violence) and deterred tourists from using the beaches.
Following extensive consultation with both the beach traders and hoteliers, it was agreed that if a more professional service could be delivered by the beach traders then the hotels would facilitate greater access to their customers.

THE RESPONSE
The programme delivered a range of activities:
A capacity and relationship building training programme to beach traders, hotel and security staff
Professional training for beach traders – made up of groups of local area guides and beach facilitators working within defined hotel zones

Eleven hotels participated in the LINC programme.
Two hotel management groups also rolled out the programme to other hotels in their portfolio and in Bentota and Beruwala professional training was expanded to include taxi/three-wheeled drivers.
By the end of 2012, 371 beach traders (including taxi/wheeled drivers) had received professional training and the Bentota Beach Hotel Beach Operators Association was legally recognised by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Association.

THE OUTCOMES
An independent evaluation undertaken by Tribal Voice Communications in 2011 found a major attitudinal shift with 81% of hotel staff
reporting that they were either happy or very happy with beach traders post-programme implementation compared to pre programme.

There was also a major reduction in customer complaints of hassle reported by hotel managers, resulting in two hotels removing fences between hotel grounds and the beach.

 

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