Need to encourage high end tourists – Minister

Encouraging high end tourists who can spend in excess of US$ 200 per night to Sri Lanka is very important Tourism Minister Navin Dissanayake said.

Speaking at the National Hotel Management Conference 2015 (NHMC 2015) which began yesterday in Colombo he said the ability to give confidence to investor was very important.

Elaborating that with various investors he spoke at various investor forums at the Arabian Travel Mart recently were very bullish on Sri Lanka and keen to come and invest here but wanted the key fundamentals right.

“One is transparency. They want clean procedures. They want equity and their investments secured so that they know that the money they put in has a ROI. We must also add value to our packages so that we can give more opportunities to tourists. We can incorporate wildlife into tourism. Cross sectional development among sectors is the key,” he said.

The minister also cautioned about adopting a more dynamic methods to market and promote Sri Lanka.

“We are having fairs every ware. We are looking at the question whether these fairs in which we are spending 30 to 40 million on each fair actually gives the return we need. So maybe we need some king of more dynamic methods to market and promote our country,” the minister said.

The event, organised with the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, attract a large number of top business leaders representing the hospitality, travel and leisure sectors including hotel owners, industry leaders and hospitality experts. “We expected 150 participants but ended up with 171 participants all very senior members in the hospitality industry.

It was the first time we did this kind of a National Hotel Management Conference and for the first time to get this type of response was great, said Dr Rohantha Athukorala Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Commissioner General of the World Expo 2015.

The grand hospitality event showcased a number of internationally renowned hospitality specialists including Director – Elevated Training, Singapore, Nisha Abu Bakar Maricair, who delivered the keynote address on the topic ‘Driving your Brandwagon in the Brand-ridden Hospitality Industry’.

The conference held on the theme ‘Strategic Management for Hospitality Leaders’ showcased the potential that lies within the travel and hospitality sector and explore approaches that allow companies to create further value for its stakeholders.

Chairman, Hotel Management Conference -2015 Committee of the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association, Nishantha Manawadu said that they have attracted some of the world’s most respected hospitality specialists for the conference. Project Leader, National Hotel Management Conference 2015, Sunil Dissanayake said that the technical committee has identified many timely topics for discussion.

The agenda will feature speakers and panel discussions with a wide cross-section of leading industry innovators and thought leaders on topics covering national, regional and global issues relating to travel and the hospitality industry from strategic and operational perspectives.

The inaugural National Hotel Management Conference was organised by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association.

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