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Diploma in 'Tourism and Travel - Flight Services' launched

The American College of Higher Education launched the 'Tourism and Travel - Flight Services' program in Sri Lanka, which is conducted by renowned Seneca College of Canada recently.

"The diploma in 'Tourism and Travel - Flight Services' offers Sri Lankan students the opportunity to enter the exciting careers of the airlines as well as the hotel and travel trade with recognized qualifications, in addition to commendable employment and remuneration prospects", said CEO, American College of Higher Education, Ms. Sherryn Yaseen Mangalagama.

"The launch of the diploma will be significant, especially in the field of international employment prospects for aspiring youth of Sri Lanka", she said.


Students and the guests of Seneca Tourism and Travel-Flight Services diploma at the official launch

The High Commissioner for Canada in Sri Lanka, Ms. Angela Bogdan said, "There are 1.2 million job opportunities available in the travel and tourism industry. Since the American College of Higher Education collaborates with the Seneca College of Canada the 'Tourism and Travel - Flight Services' diploma, is a great opening for Sri Lankan students who wish to build their careers in the travel and tourism industry.

"We support and encourage developing the Education in Sri Lanka. The importance of these types of collaborations is that through quality cultural activities, foreign partnerships and bilateral relationships we build contacts within countries. The connectivity between countries is very important. Our shared aspirations will make us stronger in the progress to deliver quality education to the youth of Sri Lanka.", she said.

Seneca College, Canada has a renowned history of more than 40 years of outstanding education. The degrees and diploma programs are highly valued and accepted across the world.

The American College of Higher Education is one of the pioneers in American method education in Sri Lanka, with more than 1,000 students being transferred to the USA for completion of their degree programs as well as MBA programs. The American College of Higher Education also offers four US degree programs, which could be completed in Sri Lanka, in addition to a host of other valuable subsidiary courses.


Hikkaduwa Beach Fest

The 'Hikkaduwa Beach Fest 09', will be held from July 30 to August 2. Last year's Hikkaduwa Beach Fest attracted over 10,000 people. Organized by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, the Hikkaduwa Beach Fest is Sri Lanka's biggest beach festival, with top international artistes and DJs flown into Sri Lanka especially for the four-day mega event.

"The main aim of the Hikkaduwa Beach Festival is to project the southern coastal strip as the entertainment strip of South Asia," said Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Dileep Mudadeniya. "The event has greatly helped to enhance economic development of the region, and we have been able to build strong and productive partnerships with regional stakeholders and local communities." He said "there is a lot of expectations for this year's event as it has garnered much attention and interest following the tremendous success of last year's event."

The Beach Sports Festival, held in association with 'Tharunyata Hetak', will be a key highlight in this year's festival, with volleyball, netball, football and rugby all set to be featured.

The sports festival will be held from July 30 to August 2 at the Coral Sands beach. The winning team of the rugby contest will receive a Rs. 100,000 cash prize, while the winning teams of volleyball and netball will receive Rs. 50,000 each.

An area will be demarcated on the beach for sports that will allow the visitors to relax and have fun with their friends with various activities to choose from.

The Drum Festival will be an international standard event with some of the best local talents such as Elephant Foot, Ravibandu Vidyapathi, Vibrations and Triloka/Nardro and international performers from India, Cuba, Algeria and Brazil set to perform. International flutist R. Bikramjit Singh, will be in this year.

Other international artistes include Moon Basis from Algeria and Amed Tato Merenco from Cuba. This year's drum festival is expected to be one of the main attractions of the Hikkaduwa Beach Fest, drawing from the popularity of last year.

The theme for the Drum Festival this year will be 'Drum and Dance'. Some of the best dance troupes in the country will be performing to the sounds of fusion drums, the drum festival will be the lead up for the Beach Rave.

The Beach Rave will be held on July 31 with international DJs such as DJ Dean Jon, DJ Lee Freeland, DJ Rebekah, DJ Edele Andaya, DJ Lucy Arrowsmith and DJ Acee set to perform.


ITB Asia registrations up 20 percent

Exhibitor registrations for ITB Asia are up 20 percent compared to same period last year. With three months to the show, new exhibiting organizations include the Japan National Tourism Organization, THAI Airways International, Qatar Airways and Sharjah Tourism. The city tourism bodies of Shanghai, Osaka and Busan have united to promote their own unique "Golden Triangle" at ITB Asia for the first time.

National Tourism Organizations have also increased stand space.

Cambodia, Dubai, Maldives, Myanmar, Sarawak, Slovenia and Tanzania have doubled their exposure compared to last year. Indonesia has increased floor space by 67 percent, Thailand by 50 percent. Most NTOs at ITB Asia will sub-let part of their large tourism pavilions to smaller operators from their respective countries.

General Manager of Messe Berlin (Singapore), Whey Whey Ng, said, "After only one year since the inaugural ITB Asia, the show is proving to be strong and reliable. Ahead of the economic upturn expected next year, exhibitors and buyers are choosing ITB Asia because it is a travel trade show they can rely on to deliver results in trying times."

The inaugural ITB Asia last year attracted 651 exhibiting companies from 58 countries. Up to 6,200 delegates attended the three-day B2B show and convention.

In an independent post-ITB Asia 2008 survey, 90 percent of exhibitors who responded said they would "highly recommend" participation at ITB Asia.

The current economic recession has, however, hit small and medium-sized enterprises. Their bookings for ITB Asia 2009 are down 25 percent.

Hotel bookings for the show, which takes place 21-23 October in Singapore, are down 7 percent.

Nevertheless, some big hotel companies have bucked the trend and increased their presence. These include WORLDHOTELS (up 100 percent), Moevenpick Hotels (up 100 percent), Carlson Hotels (up 50percent) and Park Hotels (up 39 percent).

ITB Asia, which positions itself as "The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market", has been designed to meet the needs of all three elements of the modern travel industry: leisure travel, meetings and conventions travel (MICE), and corporate travel.

Some 54 percent of buyers who have so far applied to attend ITB Asia are interested in leisure travel, 36 percent of them in MICE, and 10 percent in corporate travel. Over half of the applicant buyers come from Asia (56 percent) followed by Europe (22 percent), the Americas (10 percent), Oceania including Australia and New Zealand (7 percent ) and the Middle East 4 percent.

Ng said that about 74 percent of buyer applicants are "final decision makers, or have a direct influence on the final buying decision".


Lavinia Breeze Grand Marquee, an attraction


The Grand Marquee

Parties and functions by the beach can be enchanting, luxurious and casual. And many events in our lives have been celebrated by the beach.

The Grand Marquee is light years away in setting, ambience and dining experience yet very accessible to the business and commercial zones of Colombo. The place has a good reputation for wedding receptions.

The Grand Marquee offers a spectacular view of the ocean and provides exceptional service that makes it the perfect venue for parties, functions and gatherings. It is the only approved place by the beach with a large awning that can accommodate up to 250 guests.

The ambience at the Grand Marquee adds a lot of fun and laughter to the celebration with attention to detail. One of the benefits that the Grand Marquee offers is customizing the menu to suit the event. With its promising location, impeccable selection of food and excellent service, the Lavinia Breeze Grand Marquee stands out for any occasion.


Move to increase tourist arrivals from China

Minister of Tourism expecting an increase is the number of tourist arrivals and is taking steps to promote arrivals from China, and to up date the local tourist industry by collaborating with the Shanghai Tourism Authority.


A Wet Water Resort Tourism Hotel of the Lakshman Group Company was opened recently in Gamapaha - Ambanwita. Here Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne, Vocational and Technical Training Minister Piyasena Gamage and Western Provincial Council Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga open the hotel. Chairman, Lakshman group company Lakshman Kottage was also present. Malwana group correspondent - Mahanama Vithanage

An agreement in this connection was signed between the Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute and the Shanghai Tourism Authority recently.

Under this agreement the Sri Lankan Institute will be supported by the Shanghai Tourism Authority for preparation of Chinese cuisine hospitality services, provided under, training courses to be held at the Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute.

The agreement also provides for the exchange of lecturers and students between the two countries to exchange of information and knowledge would be invested in the development of tourism in Sri Lanka. Chinese culinary experts will also hold a six months training course on preparation of food dishes, at the Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute for local students.

The leading tourist hotels in the country have been called upon to enrole their chefs and cooks in the Chinese courses to become familiar with Chinese cuisine.

 


Asia-Pacific Bartender of the Year competition


From Left: Michelle Wahid (Winner of the Classic Category), Yasitha Ellegala, F and B Service Manager and Trainer and Ishfahan Dain (second runner up - Flairing Category)

The All Island cocktail competition finals was held amidst hoteliers at the Hilton Colombo.

The winner of the Classic Category was Michelle Wahid. Her cocktail was “Aphrodite” and the main ingredients were Strawberries and passion. The 2nd runner-up of the Flairing competition was Ishfahan Dain who presented a novel and unique style to the audience with his concoction. Yasitha Ellegala the trainer, said.

“There are young potential members who are talented in this field and all we have to do is to direct them.” Michelle Wahid will fly to Singapore to take part in the Asia-Pacific Bartender of the Year Competition the biggest bartending competition in Asia!

The Cocktail Competition was organized by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association together with the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management and the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka and was sponsored by Free Lanka Trading Co Ltd.

 

 


Angola’s travel trade size up Dubai

Representatives from Angola’s travel industry have seen some of the world’s most spectacular mega-projects during a visit to Dubai - in preparation for the launch of Emirates’ flights between Dubai and Luanda, starting October 25.

More than 20 leading travel agents from Angola were in Dubai for a four-day familiarisation trip, courtesy of Emirates Airline.

During July 19-23 tour, representatives saw some of Dubai’s architectural wonders - the Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Dubai and the emerging Dubai Metro system. They also visited a range of hotels, shopping malls and restaurants, as well as tourist hotspots such as Dubai Creek and the intriguing gold and spice souks.

Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Americas and Africa, Nigel Page, said, “Emirates is very pleased to be supporting such an important trip, which we believe is one of the largest travel industry groups from Angola to visit Dubai. It’s vital that our industry partners get a real taste of the dynamism and vision of Dubai as a tourist destination and a superb place to do business. We’ve had a great deal of support from the Angolan authorities and the travel sector to set up the new Luanda service and we are glad to be able to return some of that hospitality.”

Senior Vice President, Arabian Adventures, Frederic Bardin, who is providing ground support said, “In seeing the best of Dubai, the group will experience some of our trademark excursions such as the Sundowner Safari, where visitors head into the desert in four-wheel drive vehicles and spend the evening under the stars at a Bedouin encampment. Then there’s the popular Dubai orientation tour, taking in the bustling alleyways of the traditional souks, the abras plying Dubai Creek and Dubai Museum, which tells the fascinating story of Dubai’s humble pearl trading past.”

From October 25, Emirates will operate three flights a week to Luanda, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

EK 791 departs Dubai at 1000 hours and arrives at 4 De Fevereiro Airport in Luanda at 1510 hours. The return flight, EK792, leaves Luanda at 1800 hours, touching down in Dubai at 0450 hours the following day. The flight is approximately eight hours.


Heritance Kandalama and AFLAC improve library

Heritance Kandalama will partner Sri Lankan Charity Association for Lighting a Candle (AFLAC) to provide books and library equipment to Wewalawewa Maha Vidyalaya in Dambulla.

The school was chosen by the Ministry of Education from among thirty-two schools from nine districts who applied through AFLAC’s network of partners in Sri Lanka. Kiralagolla Primary School and Wewalawewa Maha Vidyalaya in Dambulla were short-listed.


From left: Rohan Pandithakorralage, Head of HR - Aitken Spence PLC, Rajitha Fernando, Director AFLAC, Azam Bakeer-Markar, Manager Group Business Development, Aitken Spence PLC, Priyan Wijeratne, RDM, Heritance Kandalama, B.H.R. Sariffo’deen, Asst. Vice President Aitken Spence Hotels.

“We have a development partnership with a network of 32 schools in the Dambulla region, where we have launched dozens of initiatives over the years”, said Assistant Vice President (Round Trip Hotels) of Aitken Spence Hotels, B.H.R. Sariffo’deen.

The project will provide school books to the value of Rs. 50,000 and library equipment to the value of Rs. 100,000.

The equipment will include tables/chairs/book racks and cupboards. It will also include colour washing of the library rooms.

A Director of AFLAC Rajitha Fernando said, “We function as a link between an individual’s act of generosity and someone else’s need.

“We are pleased to partner with Heritance Kandalama which maintains an exemplary relationship with the surrounding community. We intend to inaugurate the libraries by end of July”.

AFLAC’s international partner the United World College of South East Asia, Singapore provided financial support to the project through the Global Concern Group’s ‘Light for Sri Lankan Education’ program.

During the past few years, AFLAC has partnered with Aitken Spence to assist three other schools in Dambulla with library books and cupboards and a computer to another school from the same area.

Founded upon the quote ‘It is better by far to light one solitary candle than to curse the darkness’, AFLAC believes that everyone has the capacity to light a candle, be it large or small, which will shed some light on someone else’s darkness. AFLAC, a registered charity, attempts to attack poverty through three main areas of work; education, health and food.

 

 

 

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