Turning point in South Asian Tourism
Photo Credit: Mayu Dated: October 06, 2015
The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, jointly hosted the SAARC Investment Forum at the Ramada Hotel in Colombo from September 30 to October 2, 2015. It was all focused on “Turning point in South Asian Tourism”.
The inaugural session was attended by Minister of Tourism, John Amaratunga, Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, Enterprise Development Deputy Minister, Eran Wickramaratne and Tourism Ministers from the SAARC countries as well as the Diplomatic Missions Heads of the SAARC countries.
Many experts who engage in the tourism and hospitality industry from SAARC countries shared their experiences. They discussed issues and looked at solutions. The setting up of a SAARC secretariat and SAARC council representing all SAARC nations, promotion of a common language in the SAARC region, use Sports as a vehicle to strengthen relationships among SAARC nations, encourage women employment in the hospitality sector, introduction of online visa facilitation in SAARC nations, introduction of specialised diplomas and degrees for hospitality management with international accreditation, setting up of a SAARC tourism trade board, usage of Social Media to promote SAARC tourism, organising annual SAARC tourism marts and promotion fairs, looking for special hotel rates for tourists of SAARC national and many other issues were discussed in detail.
The Colombo Declaration on Tourism and Hospitality Industry, which included all those findings at the sessions were handed over to the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Petroleum & Petroleum Gas Minister Chandima Weerakkody.