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About the Summit & Symposium

Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium which is part of the official World Tourism Day events held in Sri Lanka from 2015. Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium 2017 was privileged to have His Excellency President Sirisena as the Chief guest for 3rd Summit in 2017.

As the premier state-run academic body, the Tourism Study Programmms of the Department of Economics, University of Colombo has taken the lead in the Four years in organizing celebrations of United Nations World Tourism Day at national level in association with the Ministry of Tourism Development. Working together with key stakeholders has helped fulfill the national tourism development agenda and synergize a common platform in which academia and industry professionals work together in designing sound and practical strategies to develop the industry.

Today Sri Lanka is a key player in world tourism especially after its appointment as a vice president of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. 130 countries and 1500 delegates endorsed this appointment at its recent general assembly in China. No doubt this is a great achievement for Sri Lanka as it becomes a role model for the development of sustainable tourism. We in Sri Lanka must therefore harness the power of tourism for our economic well-being while being fully committed to the UNWTO’s sustainable development goals, most notably its 2030 Agenda.

Tourism is now one of the main pillars of our economy and its position will be further consolidated with the targets we have set for the industry. Tourism has become the passport to prosperity for many countries and Sri Lanka is no exception provided we manage this sector in a sustainable manner. This is where we require the input of the academics in order to chart the way forward. The Tourism Leaders Summit which is now in its fourth edition is one such valuable forum where key stakeholders will be able to benefit from the experience of world leaders in tourism who are here to participate in this forum

The major objective of the Tourism leaders' Summit is to stimulate and keep towards the direction of Sri Lanka Tourism Development for economic viability, local prosperity, employment quality, social equity, visitor fulfilment, local control, community wellbeing, cultural richness, physical integrity, bio diversity, resource efficiency, fair trade and environment purity.

Major Objective of the Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Tourism Research Conference


The major objective of the Summit and Conference is to provide a constructive dialogue to deliver most required policy and management stimulation to strengthen tourism development of Sri Lanka for a high-value destination offering extraordinary experiences by tapping the untapped Sri Lanka’s natural and socio-cultural heritage while ensuring all parties’ inclusive, environmentally responsible, economically viable tourism development. Therefore, the comparative and comprehensive analysis on the application of current tourism strategies of Sri Lanka is to be analytically discussed with the industry practitioners, policy-makers, community organizations, international experts and eminent academics/researchers, under the guidelines of achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

In addition, following specific contributions are expected from this event:


  • Create a platform to analytically discuss the key challenges and possible effective strategies for sustainable tourism development of the country with the case studies and global best practices to be shared by academia and industry professionals for their decision-making and right delivering of the expected outcomes.
  • To enjoy the benefit of research carried out by the University of Colombo in diverse areas for the development of the industry.
  • To link other overlooked and neglected economic sectors with the development of tourism through the promotion of fair trade and social enterprise.
  • Develop the image of Sri Lanka Tourism aligned with the UNWTO World Tourism Day Celebration and also with the other key international tourism organizations
  • To make direct contribution to enhance the research and training opportunities in orde to develop human resources for the tourism industry through industry interactive and application oriented learning application.

To provide a great opportunity for the students to conduct and present their research findings at an international academics and experts forum

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