The Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government say that legal action will be taken against hotels run only for foreigners and not admitting local visitors.
Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government says that the Ministry will not allow ‘Foreigners Only’ hotels to turn away local visitors.
Participating in a special discussion on at the Ministry Tuesday, Minister Mustapha said Sri Lankans visiting the Unawatuna and Mirissa areas have been barred and restricted in some places.
He requested the Sri Lanka Tourist Board to immediately stop the permission given to such institutions, if they were given any, to operate and requested the law enforcement authorities to take legal action against the hotels that are being operated without the permission of the Tourist Board.
The Minister pointed out that the baring local visitors to ‘Foreigners Only’ hotels is detrimental to the dignity of the Sri Lankans and he views it as a human rights violation.
He said every Sri Lankan should have the right to visit every inch of the island.
It is also commonly seen in the social media that there is a situation where some of the hotels in the southern coast do not welcome local visitors. The government has decided to take action against hotels catering to only foreigners in such an environment.
However, the hoteliers catering only to foreigners say the local visitors harass foreign tourists.
When BBC Sinhala Service questioned an owner of a ‘Foreigners Only’ hotel, he said the local tourists behave inappropriately in the presence of foreign tourists.
“When our people are there, there is no freedom for foreigners. Local boys come and harass foreign women. They order something little and spend the whole day at the hotel bothering tourists.” The hotelier explained.
In popular hotel reservation websites, some Sri Lankan hotels advertise ‘only for foreigners’ and the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government says that the Tourist Board will take measures to raid such hotels in the next few days.