About The Tourism Leaders Summit & International Research Conference 2018

The Alumni Association of Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management (AATHEM) and the Students of the Tourism Study Programmes of the Department of Economics, University of Colombo is organizing the 5th Consecutive Tourism Leaders’ Summit (TLS) and International Tourism Research Conference (ITRC) in parallel to the official celebration of UNWTO World Tourism Day in Sri Lanka as national event in partnering with the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs together with key stakeholders of Sri Lanka Tourism will be organized on 4th and 5th Oct 2018 at the BMICH-Colombo. It is expected to receive the highest state and international recognition for this summit and 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.

Tourism Leaders’ Summit (TLS) and International Tourism Research Conference (ITRC)

- 2018 -
Focus on

Integration of Global Value Chains for Sustainable Tourism Development

Inclusiveness, Coopetition and Innovation

Consequently, the comparative and comprehensive analysis on the application of current tourism strategies in Sri Lanka, more specifically "Tourism Strategic Plan (2017-2020) – A Story of Untapped Potential" will be carried out with the contribution of industry practitioners, public policy-makers, community organizations, international experts and eminent academics/researchers, under the guidelines of achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

  • 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.

Major Activities of Tourism Leaders’ Summit :

  • Keynote Speaker: “Turning Thoughts into Reality in Achieving Sustainable Tourism Development” from the Secretary General / High-Level Representative of UNWTO
  • Diplomats Dialogue – “Global Expectation for Sri Lanka Tourism Development” from Ambassadors/Representatives from Tourist Origin Countries
  • National Tourism Organizations’ Dialogue: “Together for Tourism All”, Chairmen/CEOs from SLTDA, SLPB, SLCB, SLITHM, SLITO, TAASL, SMET etc
  • Cooperate and Industry Leaders’ Dialogue: “Strengthening Cooperate Partnership for Implementation of Tourism Strategies”, CEOs/COOs from the industry and cooperate sector of Sri Lanka
  • International Tourism Organizations’ Dialogue: “Lessons Learnt from Global Best Practitioners” CEOs/ Chairmen from NTOs
  • Women Tourism Dialogue: “Empowering and Equity in Tourism” – Women Tourism Leaders, NGOs, Local Organizations/Authorities
  • Tourism Community Dialogue: “Building Capacities and Enhancing Community Contribution for Inclusive Tourism”; I/NGOs, Community Leaders, Community Organizations
  • Aviation and Travel Dialogue: “Enhancing Connectivity and Industry Networks”; Airlines, Travel Agencies, DMCs
  • Human Resource Development Dialogue: “Multiplying Human Capital Investment.
  • Furthermore, Annual Tree Planting Campaign and Public Awareness Programs

Major Activities of International Tourism Research Conference :

  • Conference – Presentations of Research Papers and Panel Discussions
  • Conclave - An individual Interactive Discussion Sessions Between Eminent Foreign Professors and Research Students in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Colloquium - Sharing Success Stories of Tourism Industry between Industry Experts and Eminent Academics/Researchers

Approximately 1500-1600 participants of :

  • Travel & tourism practitioners
  • Researchers, academics
  • Diplomatic representatives
  • Media personnel
  • Students of the Tourism Study Programmes of Masters, Postgraduate, Executive Diploma, Diploma and Certificate Level conducted by the Department of Economics, University of Colombo and also National and .International Universities/Academic Institutions

Our Strengths :

  • More than 600 students at the Department of Economics, University of Colombo
  • 90% of the present students of tourism study programmes are employed and employers at the industry at middle and senior managerial positions
  • Our strong industry networks with Sri Lanka Tourism, Industry Associations and with other Non-Tourism Cooperate Sectors.
  • University of Colombo being a world recognized premier higher educational institution.
  • Experienced in organizing the UNWTD celebrations since 2014 to date
  • Assured support from the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs
  • Continuing academic partnerships with many foreign eminent universities
  • Won the World Best IFITT Award for IFITT-Talk Organization in 2015 by the Masters in Tourism Economics and Hotel Management Programme, University of Colombo
  • Being the major academic partner for winning the United Nations SDG Youth Action Award in Asia - 2017

Expected Academic Contribution from Overseas Universities/Higher Educational Institutions:

  • European University of Tourism (Italy)
  • Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (India)
  • Indira Gandhi University (India)
  • Dhaka University (Bangladesh)
  • Northern Arizona University (USA)
  • Mid-Sweden University (Sweden)
  • University of the West of England (UK)
  • Wakayama University (Japan)
  • Monash University (Australia)
  • Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (United Arab Emirates)
  • Management Science University (Malaysia)
  • Taylor’ University (Malaysia)
  • National Institute of Development Administration (Thailand)
  • Naresuan University (Thailand)
  • Tianjin University (China)
  • Tianjin Polytechnic University (China)
  • Tianjin Maritime University
  • Vrije University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Universite Toulouse (France)

Chief Guest:

  • The President of the Democratic and Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka - His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena
  • The Prime Minister of the Democratic and Socialist Republic of Sri Laka Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe

Keynote Speaker :

  • Secretary General of the UNWTO

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