Lanka to host PATA Conference in 2008
"Sri Lanka will host the PATA Annual Conference in 2008, in Colombo.
This will boost the travel and tourism industry," he said.
Cooray and Panabokke at the PATA event in Malaysia.
Pic by Irangika Range
Sri Lanka has been working to revive interest in the destination and
response to Sri Lanka from the global travel industry is fast recovering
from last years' tsunami, said the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Sri Lankan Chapter Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahaweli Reach
Hotel Jayantha Panabokke at the closing ceremony of PATA Travel Mart
2005 in Malaysia.
"We are happy to say the local tourism industry is already moving
upwards. Tourists are coming back and total tourist arrivals have
recorded a 11.7 per cent increase for the first half of this year
showing a growth of 362,049 advents.
This is a remarkable growth when compared to the first half of last
year. Local hoteliers are involved in individual promotional programmes
in various countries while the SLTB, SriLankan Airlines and tourist
cluster work actively to promote Sri Lankan missions in other countries
to attract more tourist arrivals," Panabokke said.
The Sri Lanka PATA chapter has received added value from the PATA
organisation. In addition to the benefits accorded to all PATA members
and organisations within the chapter they have increased opportunities
to address local issues.
As a PATA member, Sri Lanka has benefited much from the PATA
Association to build strategic links between and among PATA members and
Asia Pacific travel and tourism stakeholders. "The PATA Foundation has
granted US$ 15,000 to Sri Lanka to improve and local hotel and travel
sector employees' personality and skills.
The Sri Lanka Chapter donated 400kg of tea to Louisiana with the
assistance of the Orange Count Tea PATA Chapter in USA.
They have constructed 15 fifteen houses in tsunami affected Panama
and Arugam Bay in collaboration with the Skal International, Colombo.
PATA Advisory Committee, Chairman and Jetwing Hotels Group Managing
Director Hiran Cooray said that the PATA Mart is an established event in
the travel and tour industry in the world and the response for the PATA
was better than what we expected. The response for Sri Lanka was also
very positive and this is good, he said.
Most hoteliers are now regearing and developing their products and
service following new trends to cater to the world tourist market. We
also have an overall tourism plan to develop Sri Lanka as a top tourist
destination by 2010. We hope to attract more high-end tourists. The
target for 2010 is US$ 100 per tourist per day.
Top food award for Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya established in 1806 will receive an award
for food from one of the leading up market tour operators from Britain.
Saga Holidays has been operating to Sri Lanka since 1996 and have grown
by expanding their programme promoting Sri Lanka from sun and sand to
nature, adventure and wild life holidays.
A niche market tour operator, Saga Holidays specializes in handling
senior citizens and has a repeat client base of over 800.000, who travel
with them worldwide.
This accolade was awarded based on a year's customer feedback for
consistency and standards maintained on food quality, presentation,
variety, hygiene and food temperature. The scoring system ranges from
1.00 - 4.00, 1.00 being excellent and 4.00 being poor. The aim of Saga
is to achieve a rate below 1.70 points or lower in all aspects and is
chosen from over 1200 hotels worldwide.
The Director General Manager Harin De Costa said that in keeping with
the organizational policy, the hotels team of Chefs are being constantly
trained and the product had been constantly upgraded to meet the
demanding trends, even at times when tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka are
Costa also stated that the hotel is currently upgrading the coffee
shop, the main restaurant and the supper club. The menus in all food
outlets will also be changed to coincide with the season ahead.
This award will be presented at a special function in conjunction
with the World Travel Mart trade fair in Excel World London from 14th to
17th November 2005, which is one of the largest tourism fairs where
potential buyers meet from all over the world to do business.
The local handling agent for Saga Holidays in Sri Lanka is United
IUF Council formed
A Combined council of Tourist, Hotels, Tourist guides and drivers,
food, beverages, tobacco services (IUF) was formed recently.
The council was formed recently with the amalgamation of the IUF
(International Union of Food, agricultural, hotel restaurant, catering,
tobacco, allied worker's associations in Asia and the Pacific) and CMU
(The Ceylon Mercantile. Industrial and General Workers Union) Purpose of
forming the council is, to organize and strengthen the employees in the
IUF is a strong union which has branches in 124 countries with a
membership of 2.8 million. CMU has been in existence for 57 years in Sri
Lanka and in majority of establishments here.
The IUF-CMU council was formed recently combing the representatives
of the two establishments, during the visit of Comrade Ma Wei Ping, the
secretary of the Asia Pacific region of the IUF.
Speaking at the occasion. Comrade Wei Ping said that most of the
multi-national companies today try to block their employees organizing
themselves, by employing works on contract or casual basis, and that the
employees of these sectors, should from themselves against this move
This move can not be done affectively in Sri Lanka as unions do not
have a common cause and some of the unions are selfish. It is therefore
very important that employees have to organize themselves to face such
Concept of this council is to bring-together the employees of the
above sectors and get organized globally, to face the future. The
council insist all employees to joint it, for this common cause.