Platformization of the Tourism Sector in Sri Lanka: Impacts on labour market and decent work opportunities

In this report we examine the potential and the challenges that the platformization of the tourism sector holds for Sri Lanka.

In our previous report, Future of Work in Sri Lanka: Shaping Technology Transitions for a brighter Future, we identified the potential opportunities that the tourism sector and platforms hold for creating decent work opportunities in Sri Lanka. The tourism sector is significant for Sri Lanka’s economy - it contributes to 4.9 percent of GDP and accounts for 11 percent of employment creation and is set to grow. The platform economy too is creating jobs for the youth, although it is still at a nascent stage.

In this report we examine the potential and the challenges that the platformization of the tourism sector holds in Sri Lanka. Examining existing initiatives in place and the government’s plans for the tourism sector - we identify the ways in which platform based tourism services could address inefficiencies, enable wider and more equal participation, and regulations required to ensure decent working conditions.



Authors

Urvashi Aneja

Urvashi studies the politics, social impacts, and ethics of technology transitions in the global south. She has written extensively on the challenges and risks of AI in India, the emerging gig economy and labor well-being, data governance and gender and technology. She has served on government committees for artificial intelligence and frontier technologies. Urvashi is also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a Tech and Social justice champion at the World Economic Forum, and a former member of the T20 Task Force for the Future of Work in the G20. She regularly writes for national media publications and has been quoted in the BBC, Reuters, CNBC, Times of India, and Indian Express, among others. Previously she was a Research Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and Associate Professor at the Jindal School of International Affairs. Urvashi has a Doctorate from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Oxford

Zothan Mawii

Zothan Mawii is a Research Fellow at Tandem Research. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology, work, and gender in the global south. She is currently working on a project exploring Indian women’s experiences of working in the digital economy. She has also been working closely with civil society organisations and gig workers’ unions to advocate for better labour protections and working standards. Her past work examines the impact of digital labour platforms in emerging economies and involved extensive fieldwork in India, South Africa, and Myanmar. She holds a MA in Digital Culture and Society from King's College London and a BA (Hons) in English from St. Stephen's College, DU.