Sustainable tourism initiative kicks off | Daily News

Sustainable tourism initiative kicks off

More than 180 high-ranking decision-makers of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka together with their German partners joined to kick-off an initiative to promote sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka.

The virtual Kick-off and the initiative was jointly organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Freedom in Sri Lanka and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) in cooperation with the Berlin based think tank and consultancy Löning Responsible Business and Human Rights.

During the event, a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was signed by Hiran Cooray, the Presidents of the Sri Lanka Tourism Advisory Committee and the Chairman of the Sri Lankan

Association of Incoming Tour Operators (SLAITO), The Hotels Association Sri Lanka (THASL), the Sri Lanka Chauffeur Guide Association, the Travel Agencies Association, and the Acting President of the Sri Lankan Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers.

The representatives of the sustainable tourism pilot group such as Go-Vacation, Aitken Spence Travels, Hayleys Travels, Hilton Colombo Residencies, Kite-Surfing Lanka, Anantara Hotels Lanka, The Thinnai Hotel, Fox-Resorts, Team Resorts and Spa, Wayfarer Travels and Eco-Living-Lanka signed the commitment as well.

The initiative, which is open to all stakeholders of the Sri Lankan tourism industry from today, is based on three major approaches: 1. Transfer of know-how: Gap assessments, trainings, process optimization and support for certification (e.g., Travelife, TourCert etc.) 2. Public awareness (virtual activities with specialized media in Germany, corporate decision-makers, tourism associations, political representatives etc. in Germany and Sri Lanka) 3. Set-up of a digital platform to promote sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka

Signing members commit themselves to promote a sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka, that aims to retain the economic and social advantages of tourism development while reduce and mitigate any undesirable impacts on the natural, historic, cultural, or social environment.

Furthermore, members commit to respect and contribute to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to use the SDGs as a framework to structure their sustainability strategies, management system and operations.

Members commit to work on the following main action areas contributing to the SDGs: Fair Working Conditions, Respect for Communities & Cultural Heritage, Health & Safety, Efficient Use of Resources & Infrastructure Adaptation and Ecosystem Conservation and Stewardship and Good Governance.

Finally, members commit to actively engage in the Initiative by implementing, as a minimum, the following steps: Self-assessment of existing activities based on above criteria, developing a roadmap with responsibilities and timeframe to improve performance, Implementation of improvement measures, Participation in working groups, trainings, or other services by the Initiative and Yearly follow-up reporting on roadmap success.

Further information could be obtained from, Semini Satarasinghe via e mail, [email protected]

 


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