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Jetwing to hold first Sri Lankan Forum to mainstream UN SDG agenda in travel and tourism


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The Jetwing group is to organise a high-level forum to help senior management across the entire Sri Lankan travel and tourism industry better understand the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and brainstorm ways to mainstream them into corporate agendas and business plans.

The first forum of its kind worldwide, it will be held on 11 October at the Jetwing Colombo Seven hotel under the theme of ‘People, Planet, Profits — How the UN Sustainable Development Goals can Help Build a Stronger, More Sustainable Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka’.

According to Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray, “This forum will give the Sri Lankan tourism industry a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in implementing the core objectives of the UN SDGs system-wide. Designed to be a complete break from traditional travel industry events in terms of content, its primary goal is to broaden the definition of ‘sustainability’. 

“The UN SDGs go well beyond the natural environment. They cover the global social, cultural, economic, demographic, political and geopolitical environment in which travel and tourism operates. The forum will focus on ways to mainstream all 17 UN SDGs across the entire Sri Lankan travel and tourism sector. That will be its core Unique Selling Proposition.”  The forum is being organised entirely independently in order to facilitate a frank and robust dialogue between the senior managers and all sectors of the Sri Lankan travel industry.

The forum’s co-organiser and partner is one of Asia-Pacific region’s longest serving travel trade journalists, Imtiaz Muqbil, Bangkok-based Executive Editor of Travel Impact Newswire and The Olive Tree, the first publication designed to help travel and tourism become an enthusiastic part of the solution in achieving the UN SDGs.

Muqbil, who is also the Asia-Pacific’s leading travel and tourism historian, will provide a comprehensive perspective of the “Operating Environment” – the state of play in the world and Asia as well the key Issues, Trends and Challenges facing travel and tourism. He will also present a specially-designed simplified summary of the UN SDGs and outline how they are relevant to travel and tourism. 

The second part of the forum will focus on the Sri Lankan “Operating Environment” with a panel discussion and dialogue amongst all participants on how best to mainstream the SDGs in Sri Lankan travel and tourism. The sessions will be moderated by senior representatives of the Sri Lankan media and Muqbil.

“This year’s World Cup football championship was all about winning by scoring goals. The UN SDGs are also a championship tournament, but with two key points of difference: The game never ends, and everyone is a joint winner, not just one team,” said Muqbil.

He added, “Travel and tourism forums these days are excessively dominated by technobabble – robotics, Artificial Intelligence, start-ups, safety and security, etc., etc. It is time to move beyond preaching to the converted and raise the value and meaning of such forums to higher and broader levels that go well beyond the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“As a country in the early stages of nation re-building after more than two decades of conflict, with travel and tourism seen as a prominent part of the solution, I think Sri Lanka has a unique opportunity to shape the global travel and tourism agenda for the next decade.”

Muqbil added, “I am honoured to be partnering with Jetwing in this unique forum, and look forward to making it a success.”

As seats are limited, Jetwing encourages you to register early by emailing sanduni.n@jetwinghotels.com.

For further information, contact Imtiaz Muqbil, imtiaz@travel-impact-newswire.com.


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