Due to a shortage of experienced male and female spa therapists in the country, the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority (SLTDA) has decided to grant permission for registered hotels to employ therapists from overseas, SLTDA Director General Upali Ratnayake said.
He said that several hotel owners have pointed out to the SLTDA that many foreign tourists visiting the country are looking forward to having spa therapy in hotels, but due to the lack of experienced female and male therapists for it, many spas in leading hotels have been closed.
Mr. Ratnayake said that permission was granted according to a request made by the hotel owners.
“Although a plan had been implemented earlier to recruit spa therapists under an NVQ certificate through the Ayurveda Department, it had to be suspended due to strong opposition from Ayurvedic doctors’ associations,” Ratnayake said.
A total of 469 hotels, including luxury hotels, have registered with the SLTDA that has made a decision to grant a one-year visa for foreign male and female spa therapists to work here.
Meanwhile, Sanath Ukwatta, former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Hotel Association (SLHA), stated that due to social misconceptions about working as spa therapists in hotels, most local workers are hesitant to work in hotels.
Ukwatta further said that the country has lost a lot of foreign exchange due to the closure of massage centres in hotels.
Tourism State Minister Mrs. Diana Gamage said that if it is possible to train experienced spa therapists in this country, it is possible to get employment opportunities in Thailand, Singapore, Maldives and other countries, to bring the necessary dollars to the country.
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)