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Ms. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough

Country Director, World Bank Group Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Mrs Simrin Singh

Country Director ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives

(DJur) Audrey Kitagawa

Special Advisor to the World Federation of United Nations Associations, USA

Mr. Dinesh Weerakkody

The Chairman, HNB ,NHRDC,ICC

Ms. Inoshini Perera

General Manager of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau

Mr. G.B Sritar

Regional Director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa , International Group, Singapore Tourism Board

Mr. P.U Rathnayake

Director General,Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

Mr. Sunil Dissanayaka

The Chairman, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management

Prof. Sanjay Nadkarni

Director: Research Unit, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, UAE

Prof. (Dr.) Sandeep Kulshreshtha

Director: Indian institute of Tourism and Travel Management, India

Prof. (Dr.) Brian King

Associate Dean School of Hotel & Tourism Management The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong

Mr. Dilith Jayaweera,

The Managing Director, Tri add

Timothy Wright

Vice President & General Manager Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo

Nakul Anand

Executive Director-ITC Ltd.

M.N. Ranasinghe

Controller General Department of Immigration & Emigration

Tung-Laï Margue

Member of Cabinet for two European Commissioners

Mr.Chandana De Silva

Area Manager Sri Lanka and Maldives Commercial Emirates Airlines

Kumudu Gunasekera


Ms. Indira Malwatte

The Chairperson & Chief Executive, The Export Development Board

Hiran Cooray

Chairman of Jetwing

Supun Werasinghe

Group Chief Executive Dialog Axiata PLC

Dulith Herath

Founder and Chairman

Mr. Darshana munidasa

founded Nihonbashi and the Ministry of Crab

Message From the President of Sri Lanka

Message From the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Message From the Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Hon. John Amaratunga

Message From the Secretory of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Esala Weerakoon

About the Tourism Leaders Summit & International Research Conference

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 the president Maithreepala 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 Tourism Leaders’ Summit (TLS) and International Tourism Research Conference (ITRC) – 2017 was a great successful national event. His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was as the Chief Guest for this in 2017. The Guest of Honour was the Minister Hon. John Amaratunga, Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs. The Summit was held under three major panels: (1) Diplomatic Corps, (2) CEOs/Chairmen of Foreign National Tourism Organizations and, (3) Industry Leaders Dialogue. The International Tourism Research Conference provided a platform to discuss the key challenges and effective strategies for sustainable tourism development with some successful case studies and best practices. It was chaired by 17 foreign eminent professors from different countries. Both events were conducted under the main theme of "Sustainable Tourism for Development: Way Forward for Sri Lanka" at the BMICH-Colombo. This celebration was marked by a series of other events as well 1) the Tourism Awareness Walk, 2) Tree Planting Event and Public Awareness Program on Sustainable Tourism 3) Industry-Community Dialogue for Women for Tourism Development, 3) Industry – Interactive and Network-Building Cricket Carnival and 5) Tourism Quiz for Industry-Academia in different venues and selected dates from June to Oct 3rd and 4th 2017.

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


  • Foster Business Relations
  • Focused one-one business meetings
  • Rational decision making
  • Experiential Learning from industry’s gurus
  • Cross-Cultural Collaborations
  • Expand your Global Network
  • Global Reach and Heightened Visibility
  • Explore popular locations
  • Unmatched Business growth
  • Exclusive Marketing and Branding Opportunities
  • Certificate
  • Morning Tea, Lunch
  • Evening Snack
  • Fellowship Dinner
  • Conference kit

Special Remarks

Fantastic moment of paying gratitude to His Excellency Mr. Bryce Hutchesson, The Australian High Commissioner for his great contribution to Tourism Leaders’ Summit 2017!

Meeting His Excellency Mr. Jörn Rohde, Ambassador, German Embassy Colombo. It was a great honor to have you at Tourism Leaders' Summit 2017

Visiting Her Excellency Ms. Joanne Doornewaard, The Ambassador/ Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to appreciate the quality time she spent with us while sharing her knowledge and experience at the Tourism Leaders' Summit 2017

Meeting with Mr. Dammika Perera to pay our sincere gratitude for his excellent contribution towards Tourism Leaders’ Summit 2017!

Ms. Alice Joe Paul- Country Manager Sri Lanka -Air India will Participate for Tourism Leaders' Summit on 5th of October 2018@ BMICH

Mr. Malik.J.Fernando, Director at MJF Group - Dilmah Tea - Resplendent Ceylon was the 1st Speaker of The Tourism Leaders' summit and International Tourism Research Conference in 2015.He Continued his contribution to us in past 3 years.

Tourism Leaders' Summit and International Tourism Research Conference was Recognized as the Sri Lanka's National Tourism Policy Making Summit.Special remark was made by Dr. Rohantha Athukorala during the Forum of Shaping Future of Tourism Sri Lanka organized by MICE Team.

Mr. Hu Hong Yao Country Manager Singapore Air Lines accepted our invitation to participate on 5th October 2018 at BMICH

Offered our heartiest gratitude to a wonderful lady; Madam Tatiana Nenova, Program Leader for Equitable Growth, Finance, Institutions for Sri Lanka & Maldives at World Bank Group.

Meeting Mr. Patrick Vandenbruaene, Head of Office, Development Partner Secretariat, United Nations Compound, Colombo is a stepping stone to start a new chapter of colloaboration/ partnership in between Tourism Studies Unit of University of Colombo and United Nations Compound.

The Token and the Letter of Appreciation is presented to Mr. Haritha Perera, Managing Director DITHLEM by Dr. Suranga Silva and Mr. Kasun Abeynayaka, UOC-TOURISM

Mr. Thilak Weerasinghe, Chairman, LSR received the token of appreciation for the contribution of Tourism Leaders Summit with Dr. Suranga Silva and Kasun Abeynayaka

Mr. Ashan Perera, one of our students in Diploma in Travel & Tourism Economics and Hotel Management (DTTEHM), Department of Economics, University of Colombo won the World Best Award for Young Tourism Volunteer held in Sweden March 2018.

Meeting with General Manager at Shangri La Colombo with University of Colombo Lecturers!

It was a great pleasure to convey our appreciation to Mr. Kavan Ratnayake,the Chairman of SLTDA for valuable contribution and encouragement given the International Tourism Research Symposium and Tourism Leaders' Summit -held on 3rd and 4th Oct 2017

Dr. Suranga Silva, University of Colombo, delivered the Keynote Speech of the Magazine Launch of Amazing Sri Lanka with Mr. Isura Devapriya, Chief Minister, Western Province and Mr. John Amaratunga, UNP Gampaha District Leader, Minister of Tourism Development, Christian Religious Affairs and Land and Sampath Siriwardena, University of Colombo.

It is a great honour and privilege for us to welcome His Excellency Mr. Liu Xiao Feng,the Vice Chairman and Honorary Chairman the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (NCCPPCC); China Primary Health Care Foundation (CPHCF) and his delegates the VVIP lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport on 7th November 2017.

The students of Tourism Studies, Department of Economics University of Colombo visited Naresuan University Public university, Phitsanulok THAILAND to hold research symposium and to take part in the cultural show with the lecturers 4th and 5th April

Tourism Leaders' Summit Featured in News Letter of University of Colombo-December 2017

Mount Lavinia Hotel is partnered as an official hospitality partner for this year too.A token of appreciation presented to Mr. Bazeer Cassim -Group General Manger of Mount Lavinia Hotel and Resorts for being with us from the inception as the official hospitality partner.Our Great Legendary Alumni Mr.Chinthake Daluwatte -Director Operations of the MLH Group featured.

Tourism Leaders' Summit started its 3rd Forum on Human Resources. Initial Round of Discussions were held at Galle Face Hotel.Appreciation goes to GFH Director HR and the HR team

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Beauro partnered with us for the 4th consecutive year

It is our pleasure to invite Mr.Chandana De Silva- Area Manager Sri Lanka and Commercial Emirates Air Lines for the Tourism Leaders' Summit 2018 for the Aviation Pannel on 05th of October 2018 at BMICH

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