The Centre for Research and Sustainability Studies in Tourism (CRST) launched this week will gather information, analyze and disseminate data for better decision making in the industry, the research centre said.
"A credible and informed source of information is required for the benefit of decision makers both in the public and private sectors," co-founder of the centre, Dileep Mudadeniya said in a statement.
"CRST will act as an independent body with a sound research database, providing actionable data, analysis and studies supporting the upliftment of Tourism in Sri Lanka at the macro level, gearing up to the arrival of more than a million visitors by the end of 2012."
The centre is expected to produce industry focused reports on sustainability, market intelligence, carrying capacity, and tourism for peace and reconciliation.
It will also carry out an Island wide survey to assess the contribution of the small and medium sector to the overall tourism industry.
"The need for such an entity had been there for a long time and we are happy that now it is coming in to reality," Mahen Kariyawasam, chairman of Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators was quoted as saying in the statement.
"We all need relevant data and trends to position our business and to embrace the new technology to thrive ourselves."
CRST will have an advisory expert panel including Frank Haas, Dean of Hospitality, Business and Legal Education, University of Hawai, and prof. Don Hawkins, Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy.
Others include M L N Lantra, former director, research and international affairs, Sri Lanka Tourism, H.M.S Samaranayake, former chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, S. Kalaiselvam, former director general, Sri Lanka Tourism.
Srilal Miththapala, an industry practioner and project director EU-SWITCH ASIA Programme, and Uditha Liyanage, director, Post Graduate Institute of Management will also be in the panel.
CRST will also issue a monthly news letter and a publication covering emerging trends in travel, competitor actions, and developments in aviation, marketing initiatives, the island's competitive position and new key events around the world.
Tourist arrivals to the island rose 9.7 percent in August 2012 to 79,456 from a year earlier with Western Europe and East Asian growing but the top market India falling in absolute terms, official data showed.
Sri Lanka is expecting over a million visitors by end 2012.