Bogambara prison becomes cultural, tourism centre

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during an inspection tour of the Bogambara Prison yesterday.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during an inspection tour of the Bogambara Prison yesterday.

The Bogambara prison premises will be converted into a cultural and tourism centre under the government’s programme of developing Kandy as a tourism hub, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

He was participating in an inspection tour of the prison premises yesterday.

These development activities will be conducted under the guidance and blessings of the Chief Prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters, the Premier said.

The Bogambara prison was built by the British in the 19th century and in 2013, the government decided to close the prison complex. Serving inmates were transferred to a new prison complex in Pallekelle. There were proposals to establish a cultural centre to conserve the historical values of the Kandyan Kingdom.

Under the new development plan, Bogambara Prison premises will be converted under three phases and a park will be constructed under the first phase of the project at the total cost of Rs 400 million. The other two phases will be conducted with Japanese financial assistance.

Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickreme, Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam also participated.

A sketch of the complex.

Source : http://dailynews.lk/2018/01/19/local/140383/bogambara-prison-becomes-cultural-tourism-centre

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SLTPB assures global tourism promotion campaign on schedule

  • Assures there is no impact to the industry from removal of SLTPB Chief
  • Calls for bids covering SL’s top 5 markets, plans to award tenders by March, and be online by May
  • THASL ‘breathes sigh of relief’ as Tourism Development Minister guarantees destination marketing initiatives are on track
  • SLAITO unhappy until promotion activities are implemented

By Charumini de Silva

Sri Lanka Tourism officials yesterday assured that there will be no impact to the long-awaited digital promotional campaign despite the resignation of the head of Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).

“The concern of the industry was that the promotion campaign would bring to a standstill because of the unexpected change in the SLTPB Chief. But we have now assured the industry that there will be no impact and the digital promotion campaign would be online as scheduled in later part of April or in early May,” SLTPB Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramanium told Daily FT.

He said they have called for bids for the six-month digital promotion campaign covering five of Sri Lanka’s prime markets including Germany, UK, France, India and China which will be closed next month, adding that the tenders will be awarded by March.

“The digital campaign is on schedule. It is a testament to say that all the planned promotional campaigns are progressing accordingly. We will meet the expectations of the industry and they should not worry too much,” he added.

Following the meeting the tourism industry stakeholders had with Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga last week, The Hotels’ Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte said that Minister Amaratunga assured that none of the promotional campaigns would be impacted.

“We emphasized to the Minister the importance of having a stable Board at the SLTPB without changing the bureaucrats every year. In turn, the Minister said the launched programs were in progress as the Prime Minister is directly overseeing the initiatives,” he added.

He also said that they can now breathe a sigh of relief as Minister Amaratunga has assured that planned destination marketing campaigns will be rolled out in a systematic manner and the industry should not worry over the removal of the SLTPB Chief.

However, the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President Harith Perera said they will not be happy until promotional activities get underway. “The destination desperately needs promotions. We will not be happy until all planned promotional activities are launched. We do not want the recent changed in the hierarchy of SLTPB to delay such activities,” he stressed.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/front-page/SLTPB-assures-global-tourism-promotion-campaign-on-schedule/44-647604

SLTPB assures global tourism promotion campaign on schedule

Sri Lanka Tourism officials yesterday assured that there will be no impact to the long-awaited digital promotional campaign despite the resignation of the head of Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).

“The concern of the industry was that the promotion campaign would bring to a standstill because of the unexpected change in the SLTPB Chief. But we have now assured the industry that there will be no impact and the digital promotion campaign would be online as scheduled in later part of April or in early May,” SLTPB Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramanium told Daily FT.

He said they have called for bids for the six-month digital promotion campaign covering five of Sri Lanka’s prime markets including Germany, UK, France, India and China which will be closed next month, adding that the tenders will be awarded by March.

“The digital campaign is on schedule. It is a testament to say that all the planned promotional campaigns are progressing accordingly. We will meet the expectations of the industry and they should not worry too much,” he added.

Following the meeting the tourism industry stakeholders had with Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga last week, The Hotels’ Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte said that Minister Amaratunga assured that none of the promotional campaigns would be impacted.

“We emphasized to the Minister the importance of having a stable Board at the SLTPB without changing the bureaucrats every year. In turn, the Minister said the launched programs were in progress as the Prime Minister is directly overseeing the initiatives,” he added.

He also said that they can now breathe a sigh of relief as Minister Amaratunga has assured that planned destination marketing campaigns will be rolled out in a systematic manner and the industry should not worry over the removal of the SLTPB Chief.

However, the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President Harith Perera said they will not be happy until promotional activities get underway. “The destination desperately needs promotions. We will not be happy until all planned promotional activities are launched. We do not want the recent changed in the hierarchy of SLTPB to delay such activities,” he stressed.

Source :http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/SLTPB-assures-global-tourism-promotion-campaign-on-schedule/27-647476

Sri Lanka participates at Ferien Messe Wien 2018, Austria’s largest holiday and travel show

Sri Lanka participated at the Ferien Messe Wien 2018, Austria’s largest holiday and travel show held from 11-14 January in Vienna. Sri Lanka’s participation at this event was coordinated by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Vienna, Austria.

The Ferien-Messe Wien is held at the beginning of the holiday season for holiday, travel and variety seekers, attracting more than 800 national and international exhibitors from over 70 countries and approximately 150,000 visitors each year.

Six companies from the hospitality, travel and wellness industry participated under the Sri Lanka Pavilion, namely: Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort, Araliya Green Hills Hotel Ltd., Ayubowan Tours and Travels Ltd., Sri Lanka Express, World Travel Centre Ltd. and Exotic Ltd.

The Sri Lanka Pavilion was inaugurated by Ambassador and Permanent Representative for Sri Lanka in Vienna, Priyanee Wijesekera on 11 January with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp in the presence of many invitees including Dr. Robert Luck, Regional Manager for South and South East Asia of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce and Professor Werner Zips, Deputy Director of Studies, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, who produced a documentary on Sri Lanka titled ‘Sri Lanka – Insel der Hoffnung’ (Sri Lanka – Island of Hope) which was telecast on Austrian, German and Swiss television.  Traditional Sri Lankan refreshments were also served.

A presentation titled ‘Sri Lanka Perle des  Indischen Ozeans’ (Sri Lanka Pearl of the Indian Ocean) was also made at the Travel Cinema on Thursday 11 and Sunday 14 January, which highlighted the country as an ideal tourist destination.

Promotion of tea from the Sri Lanka Tea Board was also conducted with tea tasting and handing out of samples of tea over the four days.

Several thousands of prospective travelers to Sri Lanka, media personnel, journalists and tour operators visited the Sri Lanka pavilion to obtain information on tourist attractions, Ayurveda and to taste Sri Lankan tea.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/Sri-Lanka-participates-at-Ferien-Messe-Wien-2018–Austria-s-largest-holiday-and-travel-show/27-647475

Polgahawela flyover to be opened today

The Polgahawela flyover

The newly built flyover at Polgahawela in Kurunegala will be declared open for the use of the public today (17), said Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Highways and Higher Education, in Kurunegala yesterday (15).

He said that a sum of Rs 2.3 billion has been spent for this flyover which is 353 metres in length. The government of Spain funded this project.

Two flyovers were declared open in January this year and the flyover at Polgahawela will be the third to be declared open this month.

The other two flyovers, at Ganemulla and Rajagiriya, were opened under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Source : http://dailynews.lk/2018/01/16/local/140010/polgahawela-flyover-be-opened-today

Large crowds visit Sri Lanka Stand at Vakantiebeurs Fair 2018 in The Netherlands

A large number of Dutch people visited the Sri Lanka Stand at the Vakantiebeurs Travel and Tourism Fair 2018, held in Utrecht, The Netherlands from 9-14 January.

This annual fair, which was held for the 48th time, is the single most important travel and tourism fair, both for trade visitors and the public, and has consistently attracted the largest number of visitors in The Netherlands. Last year, the fair drew around 109,000 visitors with the participation of over 1,100 trade exhibitors.

The Sri Lanka Stand was ceremonially inaugurated by Mayor of Utrecht Jan Van Zanen and the Ambassador of Sri Lanka A.M.J. Sadiq last Tuesday, 9 January, by lighting the traditional oil lamp, accompanied by the distinguished participation of the Ambassadors of Croatia, Cuba, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.

Jagath Perera, Management Assistant (Marketing) represented the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) at the inauguration ceremony.  Thoori Balakrishnan, a Dutch dancer of Sri Lankan origin, performed a beautiful Bharatha Natyam dance which stole the show.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Sadiq underscored the importance of the Vakentiebeurs Fair for Sri Lankan tour operators, in generating tourist traffic from The Netherlands. He pointed out that due to the active involvement of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in The Netherlands, with the support and cooperation of the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau, it has been possible to create greater visibility and awareness about Sri Lanka among Dutch tour operators and the general public as an attractive and family friendly tourist destination. This has resulted in Dutch tourist arrivals consistently registering double digit growth over the last three years.

Ambassador Sadiq also briefed the audience on some of the Embassy plans this year to promote Sri Lanka, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the country’s independence, including organising a Tourism Road Show in Amsterdam as well as a diplomatic tour to Sri Lanka for Ambassadors and diplomats based in The Netherlands. He urged the 13 Sri Lankan tour operators attending the fair to take maximum advantage of their participation to proactively reach out to Dutch tour operators and the Dutch public visiting the fair, in order to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/Large-crowds-visit-Sri-Lanka-Stand-at%C2%A0Vakantiebeurs-Fair-2018-in-The-Netherlands/27-647305

Sri Lanka Tourism Awards Cyber Security Contract to Sri Lanka CERT|CC

Sri Lanka CERT, the national computer emergency readiness team, has been entrusted with the task of providing a wide range of cyber security services for the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the apex body of Sri Lanka Tourism.

SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka awarded a contract in this regard to CERT Chief Executive Officer Lal Dias, at a brief event held at the SLTDA premises, in Colombo, recently.

The cyber security measures are aimed at strengthening the ICT arm of Sri Lanka Tourism which is currently on an ambitious three-year mission to double its revenue and job creation.

Under this agreement, Sri Lanka CERT will provide cyber security advice and services covering multiple IT platforms of SLTDA, which includes websites, networks, cloud services, e-services and software applications.

“In this day and age cyber security threats can jeopardize the credibility and the reputation of some of the world’s most trusted organisations and Sri Lanka Tourism want to ensure all our systems and data including customer data is protected against cyber attacks,” Sri Lanka Tourism Director ICT Udana Wickramasinghe said, explaining why his organisation decided to strengthen the IT infrastructure on the cyber security front.  “In 2018, we will surely see increased sophistication and more targeted where the cyber-attacks are concerned. At the same time, as the industry is booming, the risks are huge and the stakes are high.

That is why we felt the need for a dedicated cyber security managed service and we selected Sri Lanka CERT as it is the fully government owned national organization for cyber security,” he added.

Sri Lanka CERT, a fully-owned subsidiary of ICTA, which is under the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure and has functioned for nearly 12 years and worked with many state and non-state partners.

Lal Dias, CEO of Sri Lanka CERT said the contract with SLTDA was a reflection of the strong relationships that they had established with government departments and agencies in Sri Lanka over the years, and expects to expand this service to other like-minded Government Departments.

“We are committed to strengthen this partnership and to bring our advanced cyber technologies and deep understanding of today’s global security threats to assist Sri Lanka Tourism and its stakeholders,” Dias explained.

“In the current global context,” he said, “Cyber-attacks come in many forms, such as Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, website defacement and unauthorised access to systems. These are committed by a wide spectrum of individuals and organisations such as Fraudsters, terrorist groups and even thrill seekers.”

The Sri Lanka CERT CEO added that was why organisations needed robust security systems as an essential part of their IT infrastructure.

Source ; http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/Sri-Lanka-Tourism-Awards-Cyber-Security-Contract–to-Sri-Lanka-CERT%7CCC/27-647124