Linking cultures of the world through travel, this year’s World Tourism Day was observed and celebrated on 27th of September 2011 by various tourism sector establishments throughout the world.
Initiated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization to foster awareness among local communities and to highlight values of tourism and its cultural impact, a number of events have been scheduled to take place this year under the theme “Tourism – Linking Cultures”.
Eden Resort & Spa, a member of the LOLC Leisure Group commemorating World Tourism Day held a special educational program for students of the Moragalla Junior School. This program was aimed at educating the students on the benefits of choosing their careers in the tourism and hospitality industry. In addition, the hotel took the opportunity to donate Library Books and Computer Accessories fulfilling a much needed requirement of the school. General Manager of Eden Resort & Spa, Mr. Eksath Wijeratne along with other senior managers and members of staff took part in this worthy cause.
The recent post war development efforts have witnessed a colossal increase in the arrival of tourists to the country during the recent years. As a result, Sri Lanka has aimed towards 800,000 tourist arrivals during this year, and revenue of over US$ 1 billion before the end of year 2012. Furthermore, with a target of 2.5 Million tourist arrivals anticipated by the end of year 2016, the industry has focused on developing the required support systems and resources in order to meet this target.
As a result, various institutions of this sector, in partnership with government agencies, have launched several programs commemorating the World Tourism Day with a special focus at developing the tourism and hospitality industry of the country. One such program focuses on empowering Sri Lankan youth by encouraging them to consider the hospitality industry as an option for career development. The current workforce in the industry is estimated to be around 125,000 – and by 2016 it is estimated that 500,000 employees are required to serve the future tourist inflow.