Building Resilience through Collaboration: Insights from a Local-Level Tourism Sector Workshop in Galle District

May 30, 2024

On April 4th, 2024, SLYCAN Trust hosted a local-level workshop with stakeholders from Sri Lanka's tourism industry at Radisson Blu in Galle. The event aimed to address pressing challenges faced by the tourism sector in Galle District, with a special focus on building long-term climate resilience and enhancing enterprise risk management and access to sustainable finance.

The workshop was attended by 25 participants representing the government, private sector, academia, industry associations and chambers.  

Understanding Galle's tourism landscape

Galle District boasts some of Sri Lanka's most visited tourist destinations, characterized by rich socio-cultural experiences, diverse marine ecosystems, and lush forest landscapes. These assets create important livelihood opportunities for local communities, including employment in hospitality services, guided tours, handicrafts and souvenirs sales, marine-based recreational activities, agriculture and food production, eco-tourism and wildlife conservation, transport services, and cultural performances.  However, risks and impacts related to climate change pose a significant threat to this sector and highlight the need to take proactive measures towards adaptation and resilience.

SLYCAN Trust organized the workshop to facilitate stronger collaboration and knowledge-sharing among tourism sector stakeholders in the District. The introductory session, led by Ms. Thamali Liyana Arachchi, SLYCAN Trust Programme Manager, set the tone and provided a framing for this conversation. She emphasized the importance of partnerships in addressing risks and finding innovative and sustainable solutions for a greener, more prosperous, and resilient economy.

Following this, SLYCAN Trust Country Director, Mr. Kavindu Ediriweera presented the multi-actor partnership on climate and disaster risk management and finance initiated by SLYCAN Trust. He outlined strategies for enhancing resilience and sustainability in the tourism sector including developing climate risk awareness and capacity, supporting ethical and sustainable entrepreneurs through EthicalX, and expanding the partnership to the Galle District's tourism sector. This expansion aims to strengthen collaboration between public and private sectors, as well as among various stakeholders, to promote green growth, long-term resilience, and sustainable economic development.

Engaging discussions and finding a collective vision

Interactive group discussions formed the heart of the workshop and allowed participants to deliberate on the roles of different actors and partnership models for achieving long-term resilience. Insights from these discussions underscored the pivotal role of collaboration in navigating the complex challenges illustrated below.

During the reporting back session, participants shared valuable perspectives, highlighting shared goals and potential pathways for collaboration. Participants then explored priorities and key elements for a resilient and sustainable tourism sector envisioned for 2030. This interactive session, coupled with a detailed questionnaire, captured diverse viewpoints and aspirations toward a climate-resilient future.

Charting the Way Forward

As the workshop drew to a close, Mr. Kavindu Ediriweera outlined the next steps of the program, which includes assessing and capacity building for climate risk awareness in the tourism sector; supporting ethical, sustainable and climate-friendly tourism entrepreneurs through SLYCAN Trust’s EthicalX initiative; and expanding the evidence base for climate and disaster risk finance and insurance within the sector. The local-level workshop in Galle served as a critical platform for fostering dialogue and forging partnerships towards sustainable tourism practices. This event feeds into our broader commitment to building climate resilience within Sri Lanka's tourism sector, through the Multi-Actor Partnership.

Related Articles

Thematic Areas


About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.