Sri Lanka Tourism announces new Destination Social Responsibility
Todayâs consumer is conscious about environmental and social effects
of tourism. With this in mind, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board unveiled
plans for a new and exciting project designed to raise Sri Lankaâs
profile as a destination, offering a socially and environmentally
Outlining the rationale behind the âSri Lanka Tourismâs Social
Responsibility Service Projectâ, Chairman of the Tourist Board Renton de
Alwis said that todayâs brands needed to ensure they met the highest
ethical and environmental standards to stay competitive.
âThe new plan is designed to bring greater numbers of socially and
environmentally-aware tourists to Sri Lanka, and to enhance their
holiday experience while hereâ he said.
Local communities are the focus of the new plan and a key objective
is building community support in the development of tourism.
To this end, the plan aims to link communities with tourism
activities to ensure that the benefits from tourism actually contributes
towards sustainable community development.
Visitors to Sri Lanka who are interested will be able to take part in
a community service project in one of five broad areas - carbon
off-setting, child welfare, animal welfare, peace education, and
facilitation for the differently abled. In doing so, they will be able
to have the satisfaction of being involved in a worthy cause while on
The programme is also designed to mitigate some of the negative
publicity coming out of the tourist industry.
âThe adverse effects of tourism have often been in the spotlight -
with this project, we want to show that tourism can have positive
effects for the environment and on the welfare of local communitiesâ de
To achieve these objectives, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board intends
creating a special trust fund with the assistance of all major
stakeholders as trustees.
The stakeholders will include Board of Airlines (BAR), Sri Lanka
Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), Tourist Hotels
Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), Tour Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL),
Association of Small and Medium Enterprise in Tourism (ASMET), Sri Lanka
in Style, Institute of Tour Guide, Lecturers, Chauffeurs Association and
Tourist Shops Association, among others.
A broad and multifaceted communications strategy including an
internet website, special brochures, and information boards in hotel
lobbies and tourist shops will explain the plan, and highlighting
tourist establishments that maintain high social and environmental
Sri Lanka is uniquely placed to promote itself as an environmentally
and socially responsible destination. In ancient times, its Kings
prohibited hunting in vast swathes of jungle - in effect, declaring the
worldâs first conservation parks - and concern for social wellbeing is
inextricably linked with the islandâs traditional religions and
âThis plan is an opportunity to highlight these extremely positive
aspects of our history and cultureâ said Renton de Alwis. âAnd also to
show that in the 21st century, Sri Lanka is serious when it comes to
promoting sustainable, socially responsible development.â
Ethical Tourism, according to the WTO, is a global tourism segment
growing thrice as fast as the industry as a whole,â he said. The Sri
Lanka Tourismâs Social Responsibility Service Project fits well with the
broader âSri Lanka Callsâ recovery plan introduced earlier this year.
A key feature of both initiatives is the collaboration between a
broad range of stakeholders in the tourist industry.
In addition, while each of the five main areas in the Social
Responsibility Project will be led by an appointed Ambassador, the
project will draw significantly on the spirit of volunteerism emerging
out of the âVolunteer to make a difference for Sri Lanka Tourismâ
âUltimately, long term brand success requires more than just making
profitsâ said Additional Director General of the Tourist Board, Dileep
âConcerns for social and environmental wellbeing are deeply rooted
emotions, and if we can harness these to advance tourism in Sri Lanka
and improve social and environmental well being at the same timeâ, he
This project will give the consumer an extra reason to select Sri
Lanka as a holiday destination. It is clear that a growing number of
tourists want to âgive something backâ while on holiday.
This plan will give visitors to Sri Lanka the chance to fulfil this
wish, and in doing so, contribute towards the sustainable, socially
responsible development of local communities which is a win-win
Luring travellers to the âcity of loveâ
Venice, a destination that every travel enthusiast aspires to visit
at least once, has been made even more attractive by a special
travel-plus-accommodation offer from Emirates Holidays, the tour
operating arm of the Dubai-based international airline.
Travellers from Colombo can now spend three nights in the city of
love by purchasing packages that start at
New service: Emirates began its non-stop service recently at the
Grand Canalin Venice.
just Rs. 225,000 for two people with air fares, fuel
surcharges, room taxes and service charges included.
A choice of eight hotels ranging from three-to five-star is on offer
through Emirates Holidays in Colombo, providing options to suit many
budgets. Extensions from Venice to Verona and the scenic Lake Garda are
âThese special packages are the result of a great introductory fare
of Rs. 60,300 in celebration of Emiratesâ launch of services to Venice
on July 1st, and the ability of Emirates Holidays to get unbeatable
rates from top-notch hotels,â said Emiratesâ Sales Manager in Sri Lanka
The special packages are available to passengers who travel
exclusively on Emirates and may even be utilised while travelling
onwards to another destination in Europe, she said.
The price includes return air tickets for two with fuel surcharges,
accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis for two in standard double
rooms, room taxes and service charges. The introductory air fare
component of the package is valid till October 31.
Emirates Holidays will also develop customised packages to Venice and
other destinations for durations of the travellersâ choice, guarantee
the quality of all properties and services, and take care of all
arrangements including transfers and excursions, ensuring a hassle-free
The only city built entirely on water, Venice stands on dozens of
islets linked by more than 400 bridges. Places of interest include the
Piazza San Marco and the Basilica di Marco, the Dogeâs Palace, the
Guggenheim collection of modern art, and the Academy of fine arts.
Perhaps the most obvious Venetian experience is a romantic gondola
ride along the cityâs famed canals, an activity that has defied
classification as a cliche despite its undying popularity.
Emirates Holidays, the largest wholesale tour operator in the Gulf
and middle East, offers the regionâs most comprehensive programme of
inclusive vacations. Emirates Holidays launched its latest range of A
World of Choice 2007-08 brochures in April.
The brochures feature the largest-ever range of holidays in four
volumes covering Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean; Europe and The
Americas; Asia and Australasia; and the brand-new Dubai and the
On offer are flexible, affordable and quality holidays to more than
120 stunning leisure destinations in 39 countries and a choice of more
than 1,000 accommodation options.
Ministry of Tourism bags PATA award
New Delhi, (PTI) The Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism today bagged the
prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) grand award in
recognition of its âexceptional achievement in a variety of endeavoursâ.
The winning projects set industry standards for excellence and
innovation, serving as âexamples for others to followâ, according to an
official communique here.
In addition to the 24 Gold Awards, PATA also presents up to four
Grand Awards for âbest of showâ entries in the following broad
categories: Environment, Education and Training, Heritage and Culture
and Marketing Campaign.
The four âbest-of-showâ Grand Awards were bagged by the Ministry of
Tourism in the marketing campaign category.
The Ministry said winning a PATA Gold Award greatly enhances the
winnerâs marketing and public relations profile and invariably attracts
a lot of positive travel industry media coverage.
The winners will be honoured at a special luncheon during the PATA
Travel Mart 2007 in Bali on September.