The long history of travel has been a constantly changing aspect of popular culture. That tourism has developed from the prerogative of the wealthy into the habits of the middle and lower classes, has created an enormous industry that survives on marketing its services to people from all levels of income. According to R. Youell, (1998) in Tourism: An Introduction, “tourism has become an integral part of the move away from economies based on heavy engineering and manufacturing, to a rapidly expanding sector. As the industrialization of the world created a concept of disposable income that was not readily available, along with credit and financing available to those with stable incomes of most levels, the latter half of the twentieth century has seen a decided shift that has created massive venues for travel and hopeful economies in places that might not have many other forms of industry.
Sri Lanka has developed a tourist trade that has become a mainstay of the nation’s economy. It is the fourth largest source of foreign exchange, (2007: revenue US $384.4 million, arrivals 494,008), which makes tourism a major source of employment. However, the last five years has seen a decline in tourist arrivals and in tourism receipts in Sri Lanka as compared to world averages among rival destinations. A continuing civil conflict has had a significant impact on this trend, but equally important are marketing and promotional issues pertaining to the way in which the type of product, services, and facilities offered to tourists have been presented.