Friday, October 3, 2008

fools leading fools into fools' paradise

Related to the media manipulation article, I note that the newspaper reports of tourist numbers, supplied by the Tourism Authority are not questioned, again by the lack of insightful reporting by our journalists.

The arrival of every non-citizen is recorded as a tourist arrival. Needless to say this is grossly erroneous and overstates the tourist numbers, I would guess by at least 100%. In a country where barely 15,000 tourists arrived in September 2008, the figures published will be about twice that, why are we even pretending to have a tourist industry! So much money is collected as a departure tax on everyone to fund the expenses and extravagance of the tourism business, when they cannot even draw this number of tourists, why doesn’t anyone question the moral authority of people in charge.

The individual tour operator or hotel owner in his or her own way performs a better job attracting them, by way of repeat business or their own websites that this money can be far better spent by developing basic infrastructure rather than on promotion. The war is given purely as an excuse, in a country where the war has not accounted for a tourist death let alone an injury.

This clever manipulation, disinformation, and wasteful expense of gathering data that is inherently wrong is discourteous to say the least and fraudulent. Who are we trying to protect? Fraudsters! Newspaper journalists wake up!

The theme of this blog is to think things through, as we still perform tasks and follow traditions like cattle not knowing why we are doing something. It is the duty of those providing information to consider the facts, and in a country where few tell the truth, a national characteristic, we must treat all information fed, especially by official sources with a certain level of skepticism. The colossal waste arising from our mistakes can be avoided.

Use common sense here if you don’t understand what I am telling you. If I was a businessman coming to Sri Lanka, to do business for two days, I still have to obtain a business visa that will cost time and money. If I say I am a tourist, I get visa free access for thirty days, and therefore even a form to state my purpose will not be accurate. We have to use statistical random sampling techniques to get at a truer picture, which whatever route you choose will give you the answer that we don’t have enough tourists rate the industry anywhere near the top 10 foreign exchange earners for Sri Lanka.

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