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37 hotels recognised for impressive sustainable practices

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From left: Director Asia-Pacific, Global Sustainable Tourism Council Dr. Mihee Kang, SLTDA Director General Upali Ratnayake, GSTC CEO Randy Durband and  SLTDA Standards and Quality Assurance Director Tharanga Rupasinghe with the signed MOU


  • Initiative under the 1st edition of National Sustainable Tourism Certification of SLTDA

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) initiated the National Sustainable Tourism Certification (NSTC) as the 1st step towards making the tourism industry sustainable with the technical and financial assistance of Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) of UNDP in mid-2018. 

After the successful completion of the process, the first batch of hotels was awarded and recognised for their impressive sustainable practices on 5 August at Ape Game, Battaramulla with the participation of Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife & Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) CEO Randy Durband and GSTC Director Asia and the Pacific Dr. Mihee Kang. 

“Tourism consumes high energy be it water, food, usage of sensitive places or the environment and more tourists lead to more impact on the environment, good and bad. It is important to thoroughly think how to mitigate the negative impacts while properly managing the above and the answer is – sustainability which respects the nature, culture, society and ecosystem massively.  

“That is exactly what we intend to do through NSTC – initiate, measure and monitor the best sustainable practices of the industry and recognise them which in return will provide us with global opportunity, national benefits locally with long term stability. 90% of the tourism sector key players are from the private sector and we hope this will drive them towards sustainability and we can proudly position Sri Lanka as a Sustainable Destination,” Upali Ratnayake, Director General of SLTDA who is also the pioneer behind bringing the certification to Sri Lanka shared. 

This project was designed considering the current importance given to sustainable tourism globally, and to successfully compete as a highly demanded destination. The global context was considered in designing the project with the facilitation of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) so that the certification will be relevant not only to Sri Lanka but also internationally.

-Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe 

Platinum Award Winner Heritance Kandalama



Habarana Village by Cinnamon




In recognition of Best Performance in the category of Demonstrate Effective Sustainable Management Awarded to Heritance Tea Factory – Nuwara Eliya

In recognition of Best Performance in the category of Maximize Social and Economic Benefits to the Local Community and Minimise Negative Impacts Awarded to Jetwing Light House – Galle

In recognition of Best Performance in the category of Maximize Benefits to Cultural Heritage and Minimize Negative Impacts Awarded to Anantara Peace Heaven – Tangalle

In recognition of Best Performance in the category of Maximize Benefits to the Environment and Minimize Negative Impacts Awarded to Heritance Kandalama - Kandalama

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