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The upcoming first-ever ‘Future of Tourism & Responsible Tourism for Driving Revenue’ Summit organized by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts will stress on the importance of attracting more ‘green’ travelers into the country whilst specifically also promoting the niche segment of tourists, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), organizers said. The event to be held to mark the occasion of ‘World Tourism Day’ on 28th September 2015 at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo will feature an eminent panel of global industry speakers.

Powered by the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, the summit is expected to attract 250 participants from the Sri Lankan and regional tourism industry. This noteworthy initiative by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts reflects the brand’s thought leadership in driving Sri Lanka’s tourism industry in a strategic direction.

Global experts on tourism and responsible travel and heads of sustainability in key travel organizations will be the key attraction at the summit. An eminent panel of speakers will share their vision for the industry and how it should be developed in a sustainable manner at the conference.

Prof Mohan Munasinghe will be delivering the keynote speech and will cover some of the latest trends and topics related to the travel and tourism industry. Other speakers include the likes of Prof Roland Conrady; Scientific Director of ITB Berlin – world’s leading travel fair, Prof Sarath Kotagama who will be speaking on “Responsible product innovation for tomorrow’s traveler”, Dr. Ian Yeoman; a professional futurologist in the field of travel, speaking on “Tomorrow’s Tourist”, Dr. Robert Govers speaking on “Destination Branding” and April Rinne, advisor to the World Economic Forum; speaking on “Product Innovations:
Opportunities through Shared Economy”. Leading Business Intelligence Research organization – Euromonitor and Future Technology Specialists – TrendOne will also be represented at the Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit.

President of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Ajit Gunewardene said: “Tourism has proven to be a resilient industry, creating jobs, generating revenues and opening up exciting opportunities for industry players. Now more than ever, billions of tourists are traversing the globe freely, seeking out newer destinations.

Keeping in line with the ‘World Tourism Day’ theme of one billion tourists, one billion opportunities, our challenge is to strategize on how we should exploit these opportunities in a responsible manner and deliver a tourism product that will be sustainable in the long term. We felt that conceptualizing the Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit was very timely for Sri Lanka, which is experiencing a boom in tourism that is forecast to grow further in the coming years.”

He further added, “As the market leader in Hospitality, we feel it is our responsibility to spearhead initiatives such as this summit so as to provide a clear direction forward for the Sri Lankan industry. We hope our peers in the industry will avail of this opportunity to witness some of the leading global industry experts share their knowledge on the future of tourism and responsible travel practices for driving revenue.”

Commenting on this joint initiative to promote sustainable Tourism, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines, Ajith Dias said, “We are privileged to partner this futuristic and forward-thinking conference as envisioned by Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts. Sri Lanka tourism is poised at a momentous juncture in its history as it gears up to meet its target of 2.5 million tourists by 2016 year-end. The eminent panel of global speakers at this conference will feature some of the most prominent professionals in this industry who will impart what we believe will be useful wisdom about global tourism and trends, which

Sri Lanka can use to build its national tourism strategy. Responsible travel and tourism is becoming the cornerstone of tourism in the future and SriLankan Airlines too aims to be the airline of choice for the responsible global traveller as Sri Lanka positions itself as the regional services hub in Asia.”

The Future of Tourism Summit is powered by SriLankan Airlines, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and supported by Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Landor Associates, 230 Interactive Digital Media.

Prof Mohan Munasinghe | Ajith Dias | Robert Govers | April Rinne | Prof Dr Roland Conrady | Renne Massatti
Prof Mohan Munasinghe | Ajith Dias | Robert Govers | April Rinne | Prof Dr Roland Conrady | Renne Massatti
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From left: CEO/Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce – Mangala Yapa, Prof. Sarath Kotagama, Chairman SLTDA – Paddy Withana and JKH Deputy Chairman – Ajit D Gunawardena | Pics by Chandana Wijesinghe