- Sri Lanka has all the necessary attributes to become a leading global wellness player: Panel of experts
An esteemed panel of local and international experts from the wellness tourism industry have agreed that Sri Lanka has all the necessary attributes to become a leading global wellness player. The comments were made during the first session of a three-part webinar series, held on 3 July, highlighting the untapped potential of Sri Lanka’s wellness tourism sector.
Organised by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board in association with the Sri Lanka Wellness Tourism Association, the series aims to discuss and share insights with Sri Lanka’s tourism industry exploring Sri Lanka’s potential as a leading wellness tourism destination based on its unique assets and advantages.
The second webinar of the series was held on Tuesday, 7 July, with another high calibre panel of speakers sharing their expertise on how Sri Lanka can position itself as the next global wellness destination. The discussion emphasised the importance of taking a holistic approach in terms of the country’s promotion and marketing of this high value tourism segment.
The first webinar was moderated by Nilusha Kodituwakku, Managing Director of Ayurva Traveller, and featured a panel of both local and international leaders from the wellness industry.
“The level of promotion which is being done to attract wellness tourists currently is quite limited when compared with Kerala and Thailand, although we have got the necessary offerings,” remarked Kimarli Fernando, Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson. She also stressed the importance of having trained staff to develop the sector.
Echoing the Chairperson’s views, Stella Photi, Founder of Wellbeing Escapes, pointed out that there is lack of awareness among travellers about what Sri Lanka has to offer as a wellness destination and emphasised the marketability of Sri Lanka’s resorts and spas to the tourists in the West.
Expressing his views, Dr Franz Linzer, Managing Director, Linser Hospitality, Austria said that the island’s indigenous Ayurveda industry is a huge asset which the sector can exploit. Joining the discussion, Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing Symphony observed that Sri Lanka should not confine its wellness tourism promotion to Western Europe alone, as there are a significant number of wellness-conscious tourists in Asian countries, particularly in Japan.
Dr. Sam Kankanamge, Founder and Director of Sen Wellness, was optimistic that Sri Lanka could perform well in wellness tourism, as the country had managed the COVID-19 crisis successfully in terms of recording low numbers of cases and deaths. He advised that the industry should focus on mindfulness meditation, owing to its growing demand among the niche of global wellness seekers and professionals.