Home / Front Page/ Two to tango for Kishu Gomes

Two to tango for Kishu Gomes


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 7 February 2019 01:30

Facebook

 

  • PM will make popular corporate personality Chairman of SLTB and SLTDA
  • New Sri Lanka Tourism Chief says accepted the job to serve the nation
  • Says tourism has best potential to boost foreign exchange earnings 
  • Calls for greater industry unity, stakeholder ideas, pragmatic policies and swifter implementation 

 

By Charumini de Silva

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to make the popular corporate personality Kishu Gomes the Chairman of both the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga presents the letter of appointment to Kishu Gomes

Gomes was previously recommended to head only the SLTPB.  However, sources said that Prime Minister had recommended one person to oversee the two organisations, which was the case several years ago before the Chairmanship was split. 

The formal letter of appointment to Gomes was presented by Tourism Minister John Amaratunga yesterday.

The latest development follows an earlier handover ceremony, which was cancelled abruptly on the basis that Prime Minister wanted to study the recommended appointments further. This caused concern within the industry. Previously, industry veteran Ranjit De Silva was recommended to head the SLTDA.

The marketing-savvy Gomes ended a 22-year stint at Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC last year, where he was last the Managing Director/CEO.

A Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK, he holds an MBA from the University of Leicester, UK. 

He was a Past President of the American Chamber of Commerce and held the position of Senior Vice-Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK local branch.

Gomes told the Daily FT that he accepted the public sector position to serve the nation with the blessings from the industry. More recently, he chaired the panel of judges for the first ever National Tourism Awards competition. 

«Tourism is one sector which has tremendous growth potential, and can thereby boost foreign exchange, jobs and income for the people,» Gomes said.

He emphasised that greater unity on the part of the industry, sound policies, and swifter implementation of initiatives will help propel the tourism sector to deliver the desired contribution to the economy. 

The SLTPB and SLTDA will have separate Boards of Directors, though Gomes will chair both. SLTDA will focus on the development of Sri Lanka as a tourism destination, while SLTPB’s responsibility is effective marketing.

He urged the private sector and other stakeholders to share their ideas for the development of the tourism industry via a holistic master plan. 

«Fast-tracking implementation of approved projects and those planned is an immediate priority, along with roll-out of the global marketing campaign,» Gomes said, adding that non-traditional markets will be a special focus. 

He is of the firm belief that the diverse tourism offering in Sri Lanka can be substantially enhanced with proper initiatives, enabling niche segments to grow faster. According to him, segments such as wellness, heritage, religious tourism, weddings and honeymoons, and MICE have great potential. «If properly strategised, these segments can attract new local and foreign investors,» Gomes said adding, that the recent depreciation of the Rupee has enhanced the attractiveness of Sri Lanka. «We will focus on both quality of tourists, enhancing their spending, as well drawing more numbers,» said Gomes, who is scheduled to meet industry associations, starting from next week.

In a related development, airline industry veteran Kumar de Silva will continue to lead the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau (SLCB), and professional Dilip de Silva will head Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM).

The overlooked De Silva was once Marketing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Senior Manager Communications at SriLankan Airlines, and CEO of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau. Industry sources said that he will receive a new position shortly.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

No more stones to break Sri Lankan bones

Friday, 19 April 2019

Trial by fire is not a new ordeal to Christian community. It predates Notre Dame and Nazism by millennia. In fact, a decade or so before Nero torched believers to light Roman avenues, Jewish religious leaders put Jesus-followers to the test as the Ch


Wounding the social psyche

Friday, 19 April 2019

In this article, I intend to discuss the serious wounds inflicted on the psyche of Sri Lankan society, which have not received adequate attention, but need immediate cure, for they might develop into a dangerous cancer if not treated without further


What 5G could be to Game of Thrones (and vice versa)

Friday, 19 April 2019

We will be hearing a lot about these two seemingly unrelated topics this month. In a hurriedly but meticulously organised event, Dialog Axiata recently demonstrated 5G applications for the first time in South Asia. 5G will be commercially available


On time – Only for a week! A must-change!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

We are in April and the month where we witness the declaration of a new year as per our traditional practice. It is that period of time when a huge majority of our population, which certainly can be counted in millions, intends to act in unison and q


Columnists More