Tourism industry veteran Prema Cooray has been appointed as the Chairman of Hotel Reefcomber Plc.
The company, now controlled by Emagewise Ltd., a private venture of Triad Advertising fame Dilith Jayaweera and Varuni Amunugama Fernando, has Amaya Reef as its prime resort in Hikkaduwa. Cooray succeeds Chandra Wickramasinghe, who resigned recently.
Immediate Past Chairman of Aitken Spence, Cooray counts well over 30 years in travel and tourism. He led the Hotel Sector of Aitken Spence for several years, making a significant contribution in making Aitken Spence a leading player in the development of resorts both in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Prema Cooray takes...
He is acknowledged for the pivotal role played in the development of sustainable tourism and especially for his leadership in developing the renowned Kandalama Hotel, which has won many global accolades for its contribution to environmental management, food and beverage excellence and service standards of a truly exceptional nature. These attributes signalled the entry of Sri Lanka’s tourism to the world map of the hospitality industry.
He also led the pioneering effort of large scale expansion to the Republic of Maldives in the early ’90s and this regional development contributed exceptionally to the overall profile and growth of profits of Aitken Spence.
Cooray was selected by USAID to lead the Tourism Cluster from 2001 to 2008, which initiative introduced the concept of ‘going beyond beaches’. The diversity in the profile of Sri Lanka’s tourism today is mainly attributed to the efforts made by this cluster.
He is a Past President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (1998-2000) and was the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (2007-2009). Presently he chairs a rainforest initiative partnered by the private sector, which once completed (early 2011) will benchmark the best practices for eco tourism development in Sri Lanka.
He serves as a Member of the Tourism Cluster of National Council for Economic Development (NCED) and also serves as a Member of the Grants Board of ICTA. He is also a Board Member of Waters Edge and Lighthouse Hotel Plc.
He served as the Secretary-General/CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (2003-2008) and presently heads the Project Management Arm of the Chamber – CCC Solutions (Pvt) Ltd.
Cooray has a MBA from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, is a Certified Management Accountant and a Member of the Institute of Hospitality, UK.