The Tourism Act No 38 of 2005 came into effect in October 2007. With the circulation of the new Tourism Act, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board Act No 10 of 1966, which was in effect for the past 41 years, was replaced. In terms of the provisions contained in the new act, the Tourism Development Fund was legally constituted, with 2 main sources remitting finances to the fund. By way of 1/3 of the Airport Tax collections and 1% of the Turnover of all Sri Lanka Tourist Board registered establishments. The Act provided for the setting up of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, thereby replacing the Sri Lanka Tourist Board.
Marketing and promotion are handled by the Tourism Promotion Bureau. Tourism HRD functions and the Hotels School operations are undertaken by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management. The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau was also restructured as a statutory body like other Institutions to be managed by an independent Board of Management.
The objectives of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority as specified in the Sri Lanka Tourism Act No.38 of 2005 is as follows;
Advise the Minister in charge of the subject Tourism on matters relating to travel and the tourism industry, within the policy formulated by Cabinet of Ministers, in relation to this sector;
Provide guidance to the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau to develop, promote and market Sri Lanka as a tourist and travel destination both in Sri Lanka and abroad;
Provide guidance to the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management to undertake human resource training and development activities;
Work towards the enhancement of the tourism and travel sectors in order to secure a contribution for the expansion and development of the Sri Lanka economy;
Develop and promote adequate, attractive and efficient tourist services, inclusive of the hospitality industry in a sustainable manner;
License and accredit tourist enterprises in order to develop, enforce and maintain locally and internationally accepted standards in relation to the tourism industry and other related industries;
Encourage persons or bodies of persons in the private sector to participate in the promotion of the tourism industry and the promotional and training activities connected with such industry;
Do all such other acts as may be necessary or conducive to the attainment of all or any of the above objectives.
The new Tourism Boards set up under the new Tourism Act are