It is that time of the year that we get together in celebration of the World Tourism Day in our beautiful little island! Having achieved three successful years of industry collaboration, the Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium is thus organized for the fourth consecutive year by the student body of the Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management study programs, Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo (in corporation with Sri Lanka Tourism).
Consolidating the boom in tourism development and the tourism development activities in the country, the Department of Economics, University of Colombo initiated the Tourism Leader’s Summit in 2015. Since then, the university has been working towards a clear vision to build a strong network amongst the key industry leaders and major stakeholders of Sri Lanka Tourism, targeting to develop Sri Lanka as one of the most sought-after, high-end and value-for-money travel destinations in the world by 2020. With this in mind, our vision is to step further to incorporate more success to the event and the industry as a whole while attracting international input. This year, the grand event will be held on 3rd and 4th October 2017 at the BMICH in Colombo under the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism for Development: Way Forward for Sri Lanka’.
Sustainable Tourism for Development is the global theme envisaged by the UN-WTO for year 2017. This theme has been reviewed for a Sri Lankan perspective through deliberations on important topics for Sri Lanka Tourism. The International Research Symposium will be held on 3rd October 2017 at the Committee Rooms while the Tourism Leaders’ Summit will be held on 4th October 2017 at the Main Conference Hall of BMICH.
The Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium 2017 is partnered by the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs and Sri Lanka Tourism anticipating the participation of nearly 1500 local and foreign industry professionals. Alongside the main event will be a series of fringe events that have also been organized marking significance in the practice of “sustainable tourism” as we celebrate Tourism Day 2017. The Chief Guest at the summit on 4th of October 2017 will be His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena.
Commenting on the importance of the Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium, Hon. John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs said, “It is commendable that the Alumni Association of Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management (AATHEM) of the Department of Economics, University of Colombo has come forward as the ‘Inclusive Partners’ at the ‘Tourism Leaders’ Summit and International Research Symposium’ in concurrence with the United Nations World Tourism Day celebrations of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. This Summit will bring together industry professionals from across the world which will help raise Sri Lanka’s standing as a leading authority on tourism development.”
Dr. D.A. C. Suranga Silva, Founder and Coordinator of Masters in Tourism Economics and Hotel Management, University of Colombo said, “the Symposium and Leaders’ Summit create a common platform in which academia, industry professionals and community can come together and design more practical and tactical strategies to develop Sri Lanka Tourism in the right direction parallel to ongoing global tourism best practices and standards. More than 20 prominent scholars, diplomatic representatives and national tourism leaders are expected to participate at this event.”
Highlighting the significance of the event, this year’s Tourism Leaders’ Summit will have timely, pragmatic themes for discussion: