Jetwing wins second PATA Grand Award for inspiring youth

Wednesday, 3 August 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Widely known as the home of Sri Lankan hospitality, Jetwing Hotels will receive its second PATA Grand Award this year on Education and Training for its ‘A Journey of Hope and Progress – The Jetwing Youth Development Project’ at the awards ceremony in Indonesia on 9 September.

The Jetwing Youth Development Project (JYDP) first made history by winning the PATA Grand Award for Education and Training in 2007 followed by being identified as the Best Sustainability Project at the Best Corporate Citizen Award organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2014. 

Ten years since its inception it is a great honour for Jetwing Hotels to be once again bestowed with the PATA Grand Award for JYDP under the education and training category after having influenced the lives of 120 youth in the first project to now over 600 youth across 40 villages in the country. Thus far, 12 programs have been successfully completed while six projects are ongoing nurturing many young dreams to fruition. 

Been in the hospitality industry for over four decades Jetwing Hotels with 27 properties across the island offers not only the best of Sri Lankan hospitality but also engages in sustainable practices through its sustainable strategy. While resource efficiency, community upliftment, education and awareness are some of its key focus areas the project with its accolades remain one that echoes empowerment and giving back to the local community, which Jetwing prides itself on.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Awards are presented to outstanding entries in four principal categories: marketing; education and training; environment, and heritage and culture. It is a great honour for Jetwing Hotels to be recognized for its initiative of uplifting livelihood of the local community for the second time under the education and training category. 

Understanding the perils of the youth in the local community and their potential Jetwing Hotels created the program to form a bridge between the two needs; its necessity of personnel and the community’s need for education and job opportunities for their youth. 

The Jetwing Youth Development Project (JYDP) was designed to empower rural youth who are underprivileged and do not enjoy the opportunities for higher education or meaningful career prospects. Providing free training to school leavers from disadvantaged families in locations of Jetwing Hotels around the country, the program offers both practical and theoretical training – ranging from English language proficiency, skill development, industry training –  to prepare them for a career in the travel and tourism industry. Upon the successful completion of the six month program Jetwing Hotels guarantees employment to the youth within the Jetwing family unless chosen otherwise. “The program allows them to acquire suitable employment within Jetwing Hotels as well as creating equal opportunities for them to find employment elsewhere. As well as providing them with life skills, they also gain valuable exposure to communities beyond their village helping towards positive cultural integration,” PATA said in an official statement. A simple step taken to uplift the livelihood of the locality has now grown by leaps and bounds with the help of community and religious leaders, and local vocational training centres such as the Vocational Training Authority (VTA), Berendina Employment Centre, GIZ, World University Services of Canada (WUSC), Care UK, Northern Province Tourism Association (NPTA) supporting Jetwing Hotels to produce skilled and energetic individuals fit to cater to the tourism industry.

Karu, an associate at Jetwing Vil Uyana is a product of the first JYDP conducted in 2006. Completing his 10th year of service at the hotel with all smiles he goes on to say, “I had no hope ten years ago until I enrolled with the JYDP. The program helped me to get to where I am today and my hope is to manage my very own boutique hotel in the future.”

Family owned and in the tourism industry for the past 43 years, Jetwing Hotels has surpassed expectation at every aspect. Building on their foundation of being passionate, as well as the experience of true, traditional Sri Lankan hospitality, constantly pioneering discoveries captures the essence of the brand. 

Such a strong statement and direction have enabled Jetwing Hotels to imagine, create and manage marvels and masterpieces, where distinctive design and elegant comfort complement each other and the environment. In line with the Jetwing Hotels Sustainable Strategy, across all properties sustainable and responsible practices are given precedence with resource efficiency, community upliftment and education, and awareness being some of its key focus areas.