Aitken Spence : Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Achieves Prestigious Travelife Gold Certification

The ayurvedic wellness resort, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was accoladed with the internationally recommended Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations Gold Certification last week for the hotel’s commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices.

Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system awarded the prestigious title after carefully assessing the performance of the hotel against 163 sustainability criteria which included environmental issues, such as minimising the amount of energy, waste and water, positive social actions for employee welfare, working with the local community and businesses, child protection and human rights; and protecting local traditions, among others.

Results of the independent audit carried by Travelife showed that Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, which prides itself for having created a holistic framework aimed at creating a balanced lifestyle experience, have managed to fashion a similar balance in responsibly managing its socio-economic and environmental impacts.

The 64-roomed hotel has long since made a name for itself promoting the importance of wellness in ones’ life and curating a tourism product to cater to this growing trend in the world market. The Travelife certification as such adds immense value to the resort and the very essence of the business model it follows. The certification scheme works in partnership with tour operators, both in the UK and internationally, who use the system to increase sustainability in the industry and communicate achievements to customers.

Among the hotels’ many sustainability exercises, the net metered solar PV in electricity generation takes precedence. Recognised as the first hotel in Sri Lanka to adapt to this system, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has benefited immensely from this system which produces energy to cover the majority of its consumption needs. The biogas plant at the hotel also successfully contribute to the hotel kitchen as a supplementary to LNG.

While continuous monthly beach clean ups are conducted in support of the environment, the arts and crafts centre located within the premises aims at creating an awareness on local culture and inherent crafts that have been passed on from one generation to another. Uplifting the indigenous arts culture of the country, the hotel encourages local artisans to demonstrate their art at the centre. The hotel also practices the 7R principles followed by all Aitken Spence Hotels with the aim of reaching zero waste to land fill status and possess the certification of ISO 50001:2011.

This is the second consecutive recertification of Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara as a Travelife Gold member.

Other Aitken Spence Hotels in Sri Lanka – Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ahungalla – were also Travelife Gold certified and are awaiting the recertification for the second time.

Source : http://www.4-traders.com/AITKEN-SPENCE-CO-LTD-6491979/news/Aitken-Spence-Heritance-Ayurveda-Maha-Gedara-Achieves-Prestigious-Travelife-Gold-Certification-25255600/

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Wilpattu National park opened earlier than scheduled

The Wilpattu National park which was closed for visitors, a month ago, due to the drought was re-opened for local and foreign visitors from 9th of September 2017.

According to Minister Jayawickrema Perera, since there is enough water within the park for animals, a decision was taken to re-open the park.

 

 

New vehicle regulations to protect Galle Fort

New measures will be put into place from 1st October 2017, to protect the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Galle Heritage Foundation chairman Channa Daswatte said regulations passed in 2009 for the protection of the site would be operational from today. The foundation comes under the purview of the Law and Order and Southern Development Ministry.

Accordingly, heavy vehicles weighing more than five tons and three metres in height will not be allowed into the Fort.

Vehicles transporting goods into the Fort will be allowed to enter the site from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The speed limit will be 25 Km per hour and vehicles will be allowed to park only in demarcated areas.

A special gazette notification was issued in 2009 which included guidelines for construction within the Galle Fort and regulations pertaining to vehicles .

The Foundation said the regulations were necessary to protect the heritage site as the arches of the Dutch fort and some of the old houses had suffered extensive cracks due to unrestricted heavy vehicle movement going to and fro.

The Foundation also pointed out that vehicle emission and noise pollution were becoming a hazard within the fort.

In 1587 the Portugese initially built a small fort in Galle called the ‘Black Fort’ which was replaced by the present Galle Fort built by the Dutch in 1663. This site, stretching over 38 hectares was declared the 38th World Heritage by UNESCO in 1988.

Pix and text by Gamini Mahadura, Galle Corr

Source : http://www.sundaytimes.lk/171001/news/new-vehicle-regulations-from-today-to-protect-galle-fort-261933.html

President presents award to chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe

The third consecutive Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium was held at BMICH in Colombo with President Maithripala Sisisena as the Chief Guest. The theme of the event was ‘Sustainable Tourism for Development - Way Forward for Sri Lanka’. The Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium was partnered by the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs and Sri Lanka Tourism as the strategic partner. Over 1,000 local and foreign industry professionals

 

The third consecutive Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium was held at BMICH in Colombo with President Maithripala Sisisena as the Chief Guest. The theme of the event was ‘Sustainable Tourism for Development – Way Forward for Sri Lanka’. The Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium was partnered by the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs and Sri Lanka Tourism as the strategic partner. Over 1,000 local and foreign industry professionals participated in the event. Here the Chief Guest President Maithripala Sirisena presenting an award to Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe of Aitken Spence hotels who had won many international awards.

Source : http://www.dailynews.lk/2017/10/06/business/130398/president-presents-award-chef-dimuthu-kumarasinghe

Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium in October

  • Tourism Minister calls on academics to get involved in tourism development process
  • 16 international eminent global speakers, 1,500 international and local delegates to take part this year’s summit and research symposium

The third edition of the Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium is all set to be staged in October to strengthen its position in the global tourism industry.

From left: Tourism Leaders Summit and International Symposium Event Leader Roshi Stronach, Tourism Leaders Summit and International Symposium the Lecturer in Charge Kasun Abeynayaka, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management Chairman and BMICH Director General Sunil Dissanayake, Colombo University Master in Tourism Economics and Hotel Management Founder and Coordinator Dr. Suranga Silva, Tourism Development and Christian Development Minister John Amaratunga, Rev. Prof. W. Wimalarathne – The Head Department of Economics University of Colombo and SLTDA Director Upali Rathnayake

This year’s summit and international research symposium, titled ‘Sustainable Tourism for Development: Way forward for Sri Lanka’, is an annual flagship event organised by Alumni Association of the Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management (AATHEM), Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo and Ministry of Tourism Development.

While the International Research Symposium will be held on 3 October, the Tourism Leaders’ Summit will be held on 4 October at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chief Guest.

Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga called on more academics to get involved in the tourism development process, noting that it was one key sector that trickles down its benefits to the lowest levels in the community.

He said academic input for the development of tourism was not something that was on the national agenda in the past, but now the time has come to involve this vital sector so that Sri Lanka can leverage it to deliver optimum results for the benefit of the economy and more importantly to the people.

He believes nearly 1,500 local and foreign industry professionals will take part in the main event, where 800 have already confirmed participation.

“This summit will bring together industry professionals from across the world, which will help raise Sri Lanka’s standing as a leading authority on tourism development,” Amaratunga added.

He commended the efforts of the University of Colombo for hosting this important annual event to uplift the industry.

The Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium is organised in line with the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Day on 27 September celebrations and emulate the global theme accompanied by a relevant local focus.

While unveiling the official logo and trailer for this year’s annual project, it also shared core objectives that is meant to bring tourism and hospitality sector professionals, practitioners, academia and policy makers to a single platform to create a national discourse to promulgate tourism as one of the key driving forces of Sri Lanka’s economy.

Founder of Masters in Tourism Economics and Hotel Management University of Colombo Dr. D.A.C. Suranga Silva was of the view that this year has given Sri Lanka a great opportunity to transform country’s tourism into a sector of prosperity and wellbeing.

“Sustainability of our tourism can be ensured only if such tourism development guarantees the wellbeing of our people, prosperity for all, durable peace to the nation, protected environment and strengthened partnership will all key stakeholders,” he said. More specifically Dr. Silva stressed that all inclusive and participatory tourism can spur dialogue, foster mutual understanding and support efforts towards building the pride of the nation.

He pointed out that this event is held to stimulate and keep towards the direction of Sri Lanka tourism Development for the economic viability, local prosperity, employment quality, social equity, visitor fulfillment, local control, community wellbeing, cultural richness, physical integrity, bio diversity, resource efficiency, fair trade and environment purity.

The third edition of the Tourism Leaders’ Summit will discuss four key topics: ‘Sri Lanka Tourism Vision 2025: A Contemporary Review of Sri Lanka Tourism Vision 2025,’ ‘Role of Diplomatic Mission and International Organisations for Sri Lanka Tourism,’ ‘Global Best Practices for Tourism in Sri Lanka’ and ‘Implementation of Key Driving Forces for Future of Sri Lanka Tourism 2020’.

In addition, the International Research Symposium will encourage the academics to present papers on five main subjects highlighted by the UNWTO for this year, including: ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Economic  Growth, Social Inclusiveness, Employment and Poverty Reduction,’ ‘Resource Efficiency, Environmental Protection and Climate Change,’ ‘Cultural Values, Diversity and Heritage’ and ‘Mutual Understanding, Peace and Security’.

According to the organisers, 16 international eminent speakers from France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, UK, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, UAE, Bangladesh and India are to take part in the summit and share their experiences, insights, knowledge to harness local expertise and vice versa.

There will also be a series of fringe events on the sidelines of this summit and symposium.

The event is being held in partnership with BMICH, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), Bank of Ceylon, Turkish Airlines, Mount Lavinia Hotel, Antiquity, Coco Royal Beach Resort, Laksala, Ramada Colombo and Regent Spice Garden.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/Tourism-Leaders–Summit-and-International-Research-Symposium-in-October/27-638974

SL to host Indian tour operators outbound convention in Oct.

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the national apex body of India’s tourism industry, held its Outbound Convention 2017 in Sri Lanka from 2-4 October

The three-day summit, hosted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) in collaboration with IATO, is expected see 300-400 participants representing inbound tour operators, travel agents, hotel chains, airlines, media and other stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries from India.

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga described the IATO Outbound Convention in Sri Lanka as a vote of confidence in the country’s rapidly developing tourism industry.

SLCB Chairman Prema Cooray said it is a great opportunity for the travel trade of Sri Lanka to meet with their counterparts from India and to cement their relationships further to strengthen this very important market.

Today the market has improved from 125,000 tourists in 2010 to 360,000 last year, while expecting the arrivals from the country to increase to 400,000 by the year-end.

“In my opinion, the Indian market has no borders. there is a lot of scope to expand. We can go towards a mark of perhaps one million tourists from India in the foreseeable future,” Cooray expressed.

IATO has a membership of over 1,600 from across the country.

“With so many entities involved, the main advantage of the convention is the publicity and promotional activity created for Sri Lanka just by holding the event in the country,” he added.

Noting that close to 4,000 medical organisation representatives from India visited Sri Lanka recently, Cooray pointed out that the numbers that could come from the leisure and MICE segments were huge. (CDS)

Source: http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/John-urges-industry-to-woo-more-Indian–Chinese-MICE-tourism/27-639398

Sri Lanka Tourism woos more tourists from Russia

It was an important day in the Sri Lanka Tourism calendar on 19 September, since it took part in another international campaign related to the travel and tourism industry.

The 23rd International Trade Fair for Travel and Tourism for Leisure was held at the Expo Centre, Moscow from 19-23 September. Sri Lanka Tourism participated at the event in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Embassy for Sri Lanka in Russia, by organising large and a colorful stand which captured the attraction of many visitors who were interested in exploring the popular themes of Pristine, Essence, Heritage Festivals and Bliss.

Twelve travel companies participated along with the Sri Lankan delegation with the aim of promoting Sri Lanka as a favorable tourist destination for the Russian market and enable more Russian tourists to take an interest in Sri Lanka as a holiday destination.

The Leisure 2017 Exhibition is one of the central events in the tourism industry in Russia and is considered to be an international platform for foreign tour operators and expand their business opportunities with the Russian counterparts.

The Sri Lankan pavilion was declared open by Dr. Saman Weerasinghe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka for the Russian Federation, together with travel and trade industry officials, Embassy officials and the representative for the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

In parallel to the 23rd International Trade Fair for Travel and Tourism Forum Leisure, Dr. Weerasinghe also hosted a reception for the Sri Lankan trade industry representatives and also the delegates of Russian tour agencies specialising in Sri Lankan tourism on 19 September.

During his welcome speech, Dr. Weerasinghe highlighted: “Russia is a good market with big prospects in terms of promotion of Sri Lanka as a favorite tourist destination, considering the large population, rather severe climate and the preference given by Russian tourists to the Asian region.”

The Leisure 2017 exhibition is one of the central events in the tourism industry in Russia and considered to be an international platform for foreign tour operators and agents to explore the Russian market and promote their destinations.

The Leisure (OTDYKH) Exhibition has become a well-known ground where Sri Lankan tour operators and agents have an excellent opportunity to examine the Russian market and to get a better understanding of current demands of tourists, so that the number of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from Russia can continue to increase further.

The exhibition has become a well-known ground where Sri Lankan tour operators and agents have an excellent opportunity to examine the Russian market and to get a better understanding of current demands of tourists, so that the number of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from Russia can continue to increase further.

Up to August 2017, the number of Russian tourist arrivals have been recorded as 35,884, and has depicted a 7.3 increase compared with the same period last year.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/Sri-Lanka-Tourism-woos-more-tourists-from-Russia/27-641178