Concurrent to the World Tourism Day celebrations which falls on September 27, students of the first batch the Executive Diploma in Tourism, Event and Hospitality Management (EDETHM) of the University of Colombo are planning to host the Tourism Leaders Summit next week, organizers said.

The Summit, which will be held on September 25th from 8.30am to 6pm at BMICH, will be held under the theme, ‘Billion Tourists and Billion Opportunities in MICE Tourism and Sustainable Tourism in Sri Lanka’ culminating with an aptly themed ‘Wonderful Fusion Experience in Sri Lanka, Road to Culture and Cuisine.

The provision of networking opportunities and integration of direct and indirect tourism stakeholder partnerships, as well as acknowledging the prerequisite requirement for the promotion of MICE and sustainable tourism development in Sri Lanka are the key strategic aims of the Tourism Leaders Summit.

The summit is organized with the principle objectives of identifying new opportunities that can be pursued to diversify the event management businesses and encourage innovative and analytical thinking to develop unique and novel products with regard to events, which will allow the local industry to explore new and emerging markets. The show will provide comprehensive knowledge of KPIs for the industry, structure and interrelationships of the industry, industry networks, information sources, distribution and marketing networks. It will also focus on imparting knowledge on understanding the role of contracts within a given business operation in a commercially realistic period of time so that the planning and relationship-building activities are successfully executed.

Among the topics that are to be discussed will be sustainable tourism development, MICE tourism opportunities, investment, exports, people, culture, cuisine, government and e-commerce.

“The provision of a useful and instrumental publication as a reference document and source of information for hospitality experts to promote hospitality development is also among the aims of organizing this event. This will help industry stakeholders to successfully establish and maintain business relationships, conduct formal negotiations and manage agreements and contracts for a specific business operation,” organizers said in a statement issued last week.

Sunil Dissanayake, Director of the Bandaranaike International Memorial Conference Hall (BMICH) will deliver the keynote address. Further, industry experts from Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, The Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA), Dilmah Tea, Antyra Solutions, Sri Lanka Association on Inbound Tour Operators (SLIATO) represented by Lanka Exhibition and Convention Services (LECS), Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organizers (SLAPCEO) represented by Golden Isle Travels, Colombo Academy of Hospitality Management at SLIIT/William Angliss Institute Sri Lanka, Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka represented by Jetwing Hotel Group (THASL), Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers (SLINTGL), Mount Lavinia Hotel (MLH), Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Board of Investments Sri Lanka (BOI) will present thought provoking ideas and deliberate on how the local industry can exploit opportunities in global tourism.

The event is organized in partnership with the BMICH, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organizers, Peoples’ Bank, Lanlo, Lanka Wine, Rockland Distilleries, Abans, Pigeon Island Beach Resort, Regent Spice Garden, Akuara Hotels, Excel World, Lion Royal Resorts, Mount Lavinia Hotel (MLH) and Ruhunu Mathra. The fusion show, which is to be unraveled on the same evening following the summit will showcase the best of the pearl of the Indian Ocean, where there will be a fusion of culture, cuisine and Sri Lankan craft. The show will feature a demonstration of Sri Lanka’s renowned culinary master, Chef (Dr) Publis Silva and will also comprise of cultural performances on local spices, gems, nature and wildlife, our heritage, batik and tea.