Tourism Leaders’ Summit

article_imageDr D A C Suranga Sliva, Academic Coordinator Tourism Studies — University of Colombo presenting a tourism industry related publication to Hon John Amarathunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs, Mr Paddy Withana, Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority addressing the gathering

Presentation of the first Professional Excellence and National Contribution for Sri Lanka Tourism Development award to Chef (Dr) Publis Silva

The Tourism Leaders’ Summit, which deliberated on a range of current topics with an emphasis on promoting MICE tourism and tourism opportunities was held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) on September 25th. Organised by the students of first batch the Executive Diploma in Tourism, Event and Hospitality Management (EDTEHM) as their study assignment of Public Private Partnership and MICE Tourism modules of the University of Colombo (UOC), the summit was themed, ‘Billions of Tourists, Billions of Opportunities: Think Globally, Act Locally’. The first Tourism Leaders’ Summit was convened with the Sri Lankan ‘Ayubowan’ and much pomp pageantry amidst the swirling, somersaulting Kandyan dancers to welcome the distinguished guests. The eclectic and experienced panel of speakers was carefully selected to address every aspect of meeting the needs of ‘One Billion Tourists with One Billon Opportunities’. Interestingly, it presented both the sides of the tourism story—mass Vs high end tourism.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) made history in joining the UOC to sign a Letter of Interest under the leadership of Hon John Amaratunga, the newly appointed Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs. This venture will provide UOC students the opportunity to take the industry to new heights. The Letter of Interest is expected to link the industry with the programmes followed by the students to conduct research in issues related to tourism. Further, two Letters of Interest were also signed between UOC and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority as well as between the university and the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Through such ventures, the university hopes to form industry partnerships when conducting research on tourism related subjects and thereby, gather information in order to take effective steps to develop the industry. This venture is also endorsed by Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), The Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET). As an organisation that performs a key role in educating tourism practitioners, the UOC is now able to contribute more actively towards a knowledge based economy. As a start, Dr Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman —



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