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 Aneja is Founding Director of Tandem Research. Her work examines the ways in which digital technologies are restructuring political, economic, and social relations in India, and the global south. She has written extensively on the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence, labor wellbeing and rights in a gig economy, and the politics of international aid and civil society networks. Urvashi is also Associate Fellow at Chatham House and has served on government committees on artificial intelligence and frontier technologies. She has a PhD from the Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Oxford. Previously, she was Associate Professor of International Relations at the OP Jindal Global University and Research Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation.

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.