Tourism Leaders Summit showcases ‘Tourism for All’


The Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Symposium organised by the Department of Economics, University of Colombo (UOC) was held on September 28, at the BMICH.

The UNWTO World Tourism Day was celebrated, showcasing the theme “Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility”, while the International Research Symposium focused on “Integration and Networking of Sri Lanka Tourism Development for All”. The chief guest for this national summit was Minister John Amarathunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, while the Guest of Honour was P.M. Withana, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism, with many other distinguished invitees also present at this summit.

In accordance with the World Tourism Day Celebrations, the organising committee had lined up several events to take place around Colombo. The key highlight of the summit was the Life time Achievement Award, for the national contribution to tourism, for H M S Samaranayake, and also for the Excellence in Industry Award, given to P M Withana, for his dedicated service to Sri Lankan tourism development. Founder and Coordinator of the Tourism and Hotel Management Studies programme at UOC, Dr. Suranga Silva, was recognised for Academic Excellence Award for his contribution and dedication to the area of tourism studies.

Public events of this series started from the first week of September. The first event of this series took place at the Colombo ‘Good Market’ along with the participation of youth led organizations, which was open to the general public.

An art competition, under the theme of “Envisioning Tourism through Unseen Visuals”, with communities with disabilities, took place on the of September 17 at Mount Lavinia Hotel, and it was a day full of joy for all the participants and a spectacular event to remember with the inclusion of a Colombo city tour.

A forum on “Accessible Tourism and Sustainable Development for All” was held on September 19, at Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute Colombo with the participation of eminent representatives of the industry.

Panelists such as Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman of Lanka Sathosa, Dr. Suranga Silva, Rathnayaka, Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Vipula Wanigasekara and many others were present.