The National Hotel Management Conference 2015 (NHMC 2015), the inaugural two-day conference organised by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association, was successfully held recently at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo.
The conference was ceremonially inaugurated by Tourism and Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake amidst the participation of a distinguished gathering of invitees that included, Tourism and Sports Ministry Secretary M.I.M. Rafeek, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Paddy Withana, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management Chairman Kapila Yakandawela, Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Chairman Hiran Cooray, Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association President Eksath Wijeratne, Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association Human Resource Development Committee Chairman Nishantha Manawadu and Project Leader of the National Hotel Management Conference 2015 Sunil Dissanayake, and included several officials attached to the tourism industry and past presidents of the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association.
NHMC 2015 featured internationally renowned hospitality specialists including Elevated Training Singapore Director Nisha Abu Bakar Maricair, who delivered the keynote address on the topic: ‘Driving your Brandwagon in the Brandridden Hospitality Industry’.
Former Taj Hotels & Resorts Bombay India Senior Vice President Human Resources H.N.S. Shrinivas, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Sri Lanka Inventors Commission Management Consultant and Commissioner Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Head of Branding Dileep Mudadeniya, Park Hyatt Jeddah Saudi Arabia former Finance Director Nirmalan Nagendra, Hospitality Technology Ltd. Partner Office – Oracle Micros Director Niranjan Heendeniya, Macksons Holdings Consultant Hospitality and The Kingsbury Former Director/General Manager Sunil Dissanayake, Moiya Hazell and Inter Company Employees Union General Secretary Wasantha Samarasinghe were among the speakers who shared their insights with the participants during the two days. Veteran hotelier LAHRC Management Services and Reefs Edge Director/COO Upul Gamage facilitated a special review session covering each day’s modules thereby enabling the participants to interact with all speakers on issues that needed clarifications relating to their respective presentations.
Commenting on the first-ever Hotel Management Conference, Manawadu stated that the overwhelming response by way of participation reflected the commitment of the hospitality professionals to update their knowledge on evolving best practices.
“We were surprised by the response we received from practicing hoteliers who were excited to listen to and interact with the speakers who represented a wide spectrum of subject areas which are of critical importance to any hotelier,” he added.
Project Leader Dissanayake stated that NHMC 2015 successfully dealt with many important and timely topics that are relevant to the hospitality industry. He further stated that the conference agenda featured presentations and panel discussions with a wide cross-section of leading industry innovators and thought leaders on topics covering national, regional and global issues relating to travel and hospitality industry from both strategic and operational perspectives.
“We received extremely positive feedback for all the sessions as a majority of the participants found the topics relevant to their day-to-day activities. The Managing Directors’ Forum involving three top industry veterans, namely, Hiran Cooray, The Kingsbury PLC and Amaya Hotels & Resorts Managing Director Lalin Samarawickrama and Serendib Leisure Management Ltd. Managing Director Ranil De Silva, which was moderated by Daily FT Editor Nisthar Cassim. In particular, it was hailed by everyone as an interesting and useful exercise as this session revealed the ‘perspective of the shareholder’ who plays a critical part in the promotion of the industry,” he revealed.
Pix by Lasantha Kumara