As Sri Lanka begins to open its borders to the world, Sri Lanka Tourism is continuing its strategic efforts to promote the island to capture the attention of a global audience seeking an outlet to experience travel once again.
In its latest initiative, special programs and events were organised to celebrate World Tourism Day 2021 in Haputale, under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Ministry of Tourism – Uva Provincial Council and the Uva Wellassa University. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) promotes sustainable, responsible and universally accessible tourism on World Tourism Day commemorated worldwide on 27 September every year.
This year’s World Tourism Day was celebrated under the theme ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’, focusing on fostering a people-centric, technology-driven, and sustainable tourism sector from the grassroots level, to achieve overall sustainable economic development. The official ceremony took place at the Kelburne Mountain View in Haputale under the patronage of Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, with the presence of other officials from Sri Lanka Tourism. A ceremonial event was also held at the Uva Wellassa University.
Apart from the official celebration, a series of other events have been planned, including seven webinars on diverse topics. Generating further excitement to commemorate World Tourism Day, The Ministry of Tourism - Uva Provincial Council and Uva Wellassa University will be organising seven competitions under the following categories: Inter University Category (Best Travel YouTube Channel Competition, Best Travel Facebook Page Competition and Best Travel E-Poster Competition); Open Category (Best Travel Photography Competition, Best Travel Videography Competition and Best Innovative Tour Package Competition and Best Social Media Page/Blog Competition).
Sri Lanka Tourism is taking strategic measures to improve the performance of the domestic tourism sector by upgrading community-based tourism products, increasing registration of SMEs, uplifting industry standards, enhancing strategic marketing and improving efficiency of public services and infrastructure. Such initiatives are expected to create opportunities particularly to tourism and hospitality-based SMEs as well as the rural community. It serves as a catalyst for job creation for youth, women, minorities, indigenous people and other marginalised groups, and as a stimulant of infrastructure and public service development in rural areas.