Sri Lanka’s tuk tuk drivers to serve as local tourist guides soon
Posted on July 25th, 2018

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Colombo, July 24 ( – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, on Tuesday said the island would soon have ‘tourist friendly tuk-tuk’s’ as three-wheeler’s would now not only be a mode of transportation, but the tuk tuk drivers would also serve as local tourist-guides.

With more than 1 million three-wheeler drivers in Sri Lanka, Samaraweera said the three-wheeler industry was indeed a major sector of the country and the ‘Sri Lankan tuk’ had in fact become something of an icon as it was used in myriad aspects.

It is an affordable means of transport for small business, providing last mile connectivity for SMEs and entrepreneurs. Three wheelers are a means of affordable private transportation as well, and is increasingly popular in the tourism industry,” Samaraweera said.

Sri Lanka’s tuk tuk drivers to serve as local tourist guides soon

He said thus far 589 drivers had undergone training to serve as local tourist guides as well and the ‘tourist friendly tuk-tuk’ concept was being launched in collaboration with the hospitality industry. This programme provided for existing three-wheeler drivers to register with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

He further said this policy was initiated to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved and improve the quality of services provided in the tourism industry.

Meanwhile Samaraweera said the country would launch electric tuk tuk’s by 2020 as part of the government’s efforts to introduce ‘zero-emission’ vehicles, which would cause minimum levels of pollution and carbon footprint.

Sri Lanka’s electric tuk to be launched in 2020

Samaraweera said the introduction of electric tuk tuk’s, was an important new policy and as part of the Paris agreement, Sri Lanka had pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent in the transport sector by 2020.

He said the number of three-wheelers in Sri Lanka had increased eight-fold since the year 2000 and fuel consumption per person had increased from 90 litres to 150 litres during the same time.

In 2017, Sri Lanka spent nearly 3.5 billion US dollars to import fossil fuels for the generation of electricity and transportation. This is equivalent to around 4 percent of GDP.

As a result, Sri Lanka’s excise tax is now structured in a way that diesel and petrol vehicles are taxed at a higher rate, making hybrids and electric vehicles more attractive, Samaraweera said.

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