Startseite » Sri Lanka

Good Practices from Destinations

Sri Lanka

Read here about the destination and project activities in Sri Lanka.

The destination “Ella”

Ella in Uva Province is situated in the central mountain range of Sri Lanka. Surrounded by mountain peaks, cloud forests and tea plantations, the village has transformed into an attractive tourism destination. With its cooler climate and good connection by train, it contributes significantly to foreign currency generation, employment, infrastructural development and to local residents’ livelihoods.

The location of the destination “Ella”
(Source: DKKV & Futouris 2022 from Flyer Sri Lanka)

The project process in Ella

During the project, key risks for tourism within the destination Ella were identified. These included sudden shock events and slow-onset stressors. The potential negative impacts of these risks included adverse consequences for human lives, the economy, the environment, destination image, or community well-being.


A multitude of differentiated options for action to tackle key risks for tourism in Ella were identified.


In order to increase long term resilience of tourism destinations in Ella, there is a need to raise awareness for risks through training and capacity enhancement of local tourism stakeholders on sustainability and resilience. Following the identification of training needs in the workshops, the local project team designed a two-day training program which included fire safety and emergency response training, environmental risk management, resilience building strategies and a fieldtrip to Ravana Falls, Ella.

Identifying sources of risks to tourism – Good Practice for Step 2

The research team from Sri Lanka started this step by compiling a list of hazards and deducted potential risks for tourism in the mountain town of Ella. An literature review and a site visit to the destination were the basis for this.


With the background knowledge gathered through the site visits and desk research, the team conducted two focus group discussions to supplement the information gathered with practical data from the experts in the tourism and related industries. The team also moderated two focus group discussions featuring academics with a disaster risk reduction background, local government officials, local police, tourist information personnel, tourism-related personnel from the health sector, transport company officials, accommodation operators, hotel association representatives and the local disaster management centre.

Participants discussed sources of risk and their negative impacts on tourism as well as other perceived risks. Through that, the project team was able to gain a vast area of knowledge and information regarding the risks for Ella and explored the suggestions from the experts.


Identified Key Risks in Ella
(Source: DKKV & Futouris 2022 from Flyer Sri Lanka)


Actor survey in Sri Lanka – Good Practice for Step 4

For this step, the local team from Sri Lanka conducted a particularly thorough analysis, carrying out a survey among local stakeholders. The team used the “Systemic Consensus Building” approach to analyse the acceptance of options for action, associated barriers to and opportunities for resilience-building in the project destination Ella. This specific approach was chosen due to the high number of mitigation strategies/options for action for the identified risks in Ella.


As a first baseline, the team organised face-to-face interviews with 18 participants. First, eight options for action to mitigate natural risks including hydrological and geological as well as biological hazards were identified. In addition to those natural risks, human-made risks were collected, which were assigned to political, financial and social / cultural risks. Afterwards, the interview participants gave feedback on barriers to specified resilience in Ella as a tourism destination. Subsequently, a total of 16 barriers could be derived. In a last step, the project team asked the interview participants about opportunities for resilience-building in the destination, which were then divided into nine categories.


After completing the face-to-face interviews, a quantitative survey with 50 respondents from the public and private sector was carried out. Participants were asked to vote on hazards, risks and the categories developed throughout the precedent survey based on a 4-point Likert scale which ranged from 1 (I strongly support this strategy) to 4 (I strongly refuse this strategy).


Respondents indicated “regulations of construction of buildings” (H4) as the most prioritised option for action for hydrological and geological hazards while “conserve the sensitive mountains” (H2) received the least approval. Regarding the identified political risks, respondents favoured “knowledge dissemination and training” (P4) the most and ranked “development of sustainable and stable national tourism policies” (P3) as the least favorable option of action in this field. Concerning the socio-cultural risks, a “community awareness programme on sexually transmitted diseases” (S3) was considered the best option for action, whereas “develop experience-based tourism products with securing the traditional culture” (S6) was the most objected option for action. The following table exemplifies the voting system employed for the options for action.

Voting on options for action to mitigate hydrological and geological hazards in Ella
(Source: DKKV & Futouris 2022 from the Destination Resilience Analysis Guideline)



Moreover, they identified barriers to pursuing targeted resilience action in Ella. The three main barriers are shown in this table:

Key barriers for pursuing options for actions to build resilience in Ella
(Source: DKKV & Futouris 2022 from the Destination Resilience Analysis Guideline)



Based on the results of this survey, options for action and subsequent strategies for future resilience-building in Ella could be derived and provided a valuable baseline for the second workshop.

Training programme in Sri Lanka – Good Practice for Step 5

Following the identification of training needs in the workshops in Sri Lanka, the project team designed and conducted a training programme with creative elements such as blended learning or field visits.


In Sri Lanka, the local team developed a two-day training programme. During the first day, the director of the local disaster management centre held a workshop on fire safety and emergency response measures in businesses, also addressing environmental risks such as forest fires, landslides and human–wildlife conflict. This first session was followed by a field trip in which participants identified risks in popular tourism destinations, specifically at Ravana Falls, Ella. On the second day, participants reflected on the findings of the previous day and worked in groups to develop risk mitigation strategies. Moreover, another training session on resilience-building principles was held, which also covered how these strategies can be connected to goals of sustainable business development.


In conclusion, the two trainings in Sri Lanka were very successful and presented participants with new and important insights. To aid accreditation of the knowledge shared, every participant received a certificate of participation in the end.

Photo credits


Sustainable Tourism Services Pvt Ltd