Post-Mirissa incidents Bates &NGage forum on 26 April on challenges to future of tourism

Monday, 23 April 2018 00:25 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Key industry stakeholders SLTDA, THASL, SLAITO to support session on ‘Managing issues, change and reputation’

Fresh from the resounding success and plaudits received for their ground-breaking thought leadership sessions on the future of brands, communications, environment and society, Bates Strategic Alliance, together with its new reputation strategy consultancy NGage, has taken the initiative to hold yet another such session on ‘Managing issues, change and reputation for the future of tourism in Sri Lanka’.

Responding fast in the wake of recent incidents that played out in social media in particular, the Agency’s CEO Nimal Gunewardena, who has long been associated with the tourism industry, commented: “We were seeing how time and again, these negative incidents were damaging the most vital reputation of our nation as a tourism destination. 

There are many issues that the industry has been discussing over the years, and we felt that it is necessary for the industry to take urgent steps to put its house in order and safeguard its reputation as a tourism destinationfrom the fallout of negatives and shortcomings, as a pre-requisite for tourism promotion. Reputation management and crisis recovery are not understood or practiced well in Sri Lanka. The platform we had created for our anniversary worked well, and we are extending this to discuss and work towards fixing these issues with views from all stakeholders.” 

The Agency is organising the sessions with leaders from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, theTourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and several other expert industry speakers on various tourism-related issues. The keynote will come from SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka, who will speak on the role and work of the Government tourism body, while various issues, from tourist harassment to over-visitation of key sites such as Yala and Sigiriya, and uncontrolled building in the sector will be tackled by industry stalwarts such as THASL President SanathUkwatte, Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray, and wildlife enthusiast Srilal Miththapala. SLAITO President Harith Perera will look at integrating the emerging the informal sector, while John-Marc Flambert will share examples in marketing and reputation management from other markets. Amal Goonetilleke and former SLTPB Chairman Rohantha Athukorala will look at strategic issues of tapping the high-end traveller and branding and marketing Sri Lanka, respectively.

The sessions will take place for invitees on 26 April at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute Auditorium at 24Horton Place, from 5 pm to 7 pm. Stakeholders and interested individuals are welcome to book a seat on a first come first served basis by emailing [email protected] with their designation and organisation or calling 0112586132.