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 on 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 was Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Minister John Amarathunga while the Guest of Honour was Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism, P. M. Withana. In accordance with the World Tourism Day celebrations, the organising committee had lined up several events around Colombo. The highlight of the summit was presenting the Life Time Achievement Award, for the national contribution to tourism, to H. M. S. Samaranayake, and the Excellence in Industry Award to P. M. Withana, for his dedicated service to Sri Lankan tourism development.

The founder and coordinator of the Tourism and Hotel Management Studies program at UOC, Dr. Suranga Silva, was presented an award for Academic Excellence 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 public. An Art competition, on the theme of ‘Envisioning Tourism through Unseen Visuals’, with communities with disabilities, was held on September 17 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

A forum on ‘Accessible Tourism and Sustainable Development for All’ was held on September 19 at Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute, Colombo.