I am pleased to issue this message to the special newspaper supplement marking Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium 2017
Recognition of the importance of tourism in both the national and international development agenda is now an accepted fact. With potential to syndicate sustainable development whilst maintaining close links to other sectors, tourism has now secured its identity in the national context. This is a dynamic time for the tourism sector and there are strong prospects for its future and all of us have our own role to play in ensuring tourism as a tool for development.
As the premier state-run academic body, the Tourism Programmes Division of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo and Alumni Association of Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management have taken the lead in organizing the United Nations World Tourism Day celebrations with Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium in the past three years.
Accordingly, this year too the students of Masters, Postgraduate and Diploma in Tourism Economics and Hotel Management Programmes will be conducting Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium 2017 focused on strengthening public and private sector integration in tourism for the benefit of local communities.
I believe the Tourism Study Programmes and Alumni Association of Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management will continue working towards the UNWTO goal of sustainable tourism development. Therefore the main objective of this year’s Summit will be to stimulate Sri Lanka’s 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.
While I congratulate the organisers for making this an important annual event in Sri Lanka’s tourism calendar attracting international attention and participation, I wish this year’s summit every success.