Sustainable tourism Initiative Sri Lanka kicked off virtually

Sustainable tourism Initiative Sri Lanka kicked off virtually

Mon, Aug 16, 2021, 08:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 16, Colombo: More than 180 high-ranking decision-makers of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka together with their German partners joined hands today to kick-off an initiative to promote sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka.

The virtual Kick-off and the initiative have been organized jointly 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 on Monday, 16th August 2021, a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was signed by Hiran Cooray, the Presidents of the Sri Lanka Tourism Advisory Committee, 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
• Ecosystem Conservation and Stewardship
• 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 & timeframe to improve performance
• Implementation of improvement measures
• Participation in working groups, trainings, or other services by the Initiative
• Yearly follow-up reporting on roadmap success

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