From The Press

President, Chamber of Tourism and Industry, A. M. Jaufer with Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture M.Nazri. Pictures by M. A. Phakurdeen - Addalaichenai  Group Corr

The Sri Lankan delegation attended the 27th Joint Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for East Asia & the Pacific (CAP) and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CSA) hosted in Maldives at Bandos Island Resort & Spa, Maldives recently.

They appealed to all delegates from various Countries of East Asia and the Pacific to extend their fullest support to improve sustainable development in the field of tourism in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan delegates comprising of Deputy Minister of Tourism Vasanth Senanayake, and Additional Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sports Shriani Weerakon, Chairman of Sri Lankan Tourism Development Authority Peddy Vitharana, Director General of Sri Lankan Tourism Malraj Kiriella and President of Hotel association and Chairman of Jetwing Hotels Hiran Cooray and President Chamber of Tourism and Industry Sri Lanka A M Jaufer participated at this UNWTO conference.

Countries from East Asia and South Asia represented in the commission meetings with affiliated members and numerous international organizations. Observers and academics from leading universities and other special invitees too were present at the opening ceremony graced by the presence of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom as, the Guest of Honor and comprised of some special & important events for the Maldives tourism industry. The Ministerial Conference on positioning tourism in a wider Socio Economic context was held in conjunction with the Joint Commission meetings.

Sri Lankan delegates at the conference hall

President CTISL A. M. Jaufer in his address briefed the tourism Industry in Sri Lanka and how it was affected during the war and how fast it has been developed at present. He said that Sri Lanka over coming all these obstacles and hardships now is on its way to a rapid development in tourism.

Tourists are pouring in from parts of the World and what we want today is constructive ideas and other moral support to extend it further.

Furthermore, he appealed to the ministerial delegates gathered there to take all initiatives to provide educating, training and conducting awareness programmes to the youths and take all possible steps to implement same very quickly.

At this juncture he was happy to note that Taleb Rifai, Secretary- General UNWTO and high level officials agreed to give their fullest support to improve sustainable development in Sri Lanka.

President CTISL Jaufer during his tour also met Dr. Mahesh Sharma Minister of State, Culture and Tourism of India, N. Nazri Minister of Tourism and Culture in Malaysia, Abdulla Jihad, Minister of Finance and Treasury in Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, Minister of Tourism in Maldives and Kem Jeavan Deputy Minister for sports and Tourism Policy in Korea, Deputy Minister Vasantha Senanayake and held a very cordial and lively discussions which centered on finding way and means of improving tourism talks with them to improve the tourism met business community in Male.

The Sri Lanka delegation met World Bank Representatives for the Asian Pacific and stressed the importance of allocating more funds for tourists sector and also to consider allocating grants for micro, small and medium size business ventures based on tourism. Meantime Sri Lanka delegates also had an opportunity to meet Stefania Abakerli, Senior Social Development Specialist of the World Bank and proposed to consider assisting the development of the tourism sector in the North & Eastern Region of Sri Lanka which was severely affected for over three decades due to the war situation in the country.