It is no secret that the tourism industry in Sri Lanka has weathered many storms over the past few decades but none compare to that of the present. The global crisis that has gripped almost every industry in Sri Lanka has thrown Sri Lanka tourism into uncharted waters.
Hence as the apex body for the inbound tour operators in Sri Lanka, SLAITO has taken the initiative to give the youth of our membership an opportunity to offer a fresh perspective on how we are to take our industry forward.
We are pleased to inform you that ASMET (Association For Small & Medium Enterprises In Tourism), TAASL (Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka), SLAPCEO(Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organisers), BAR (Board of Airline Representatives), RACA (Rent A Car Association), SKAL (Sri Lanka Club of the International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals) and PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) have joined hands with SLAITO in order to promote “one industry one voice” to take this initiative forward. We have no doubt that through these industry wide partnerships we will be able to take Sri Lanka’s tourism industry to greater heights by addressing and lobbying our issues with the relevant authorities as a unified voice.
The Inauguration of SLAITO Youth was held on the 18th of June 2020 at the Ramada Hotel with Hon. Namal Rajapakse (Chief Guest), Dr. Palitha Kohana (Guest Speaker), Andreas Hergenröther and other dignitaries in attendance. Whilst the overwhelming response from our membership has been a source of strength to us all, phase one of SLAITO Youth will be limited to 35 members with plans to expand into phase two in the near future. We at SLAITO want to thank our chief guest and all attendees for gracing us with their presence and for the words of encouragement and hope offered to the membership as we embark upon this exciting journey.
SLAITO Youth will endeavor to improve the sustainability of the tourism industry through industrywide initiatives to reduce the use of single use plastics as well as reducing the tourisms impact on our wild life, parks, coral reefs and our environment in general. The importance of working with foreign tour operators will also be a topic of discussion during their outreach as studies have shown that 65% of tourists visiting the country are said to have booked their trip through a DMC in the recent past. In addition, they also hope to increase the reach of our digital communication by using digital mediums such as Social Media, Webinars and blogs to educate and promote our country about all we have to offer to international and local stakeholders alike.
We want to congratulate the newly appointed committee headed by President SLAITO Youth Mr. Maxime Wickramasinghe, Ms. Mandrinee Nanayakkara, Ms. Thilochana Karandawala, Mr. Aman Farook, Ms. Chantelle Ferdinands, Mr. Chathura Fernando, Mr. George Paul, Mrs Prabodini Bandara and Ms. Dinooshi Kariyawasan.