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DateLine Sunday, 19 August 2007

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MoU to meet needs of hospitality industry

Hilfswerk Austria together with the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) to upgrade the syllabus to cater to the present needs of the hospitality industry.

According to the MoU the curriculum of the five-year diploma was changed to a three-year Hotel Management Diploma considering the needs of the international hospitality trade with expert knowledge from the Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (ITH) in Salzburg, Austria, considered to be one of the best schools in the world to provide training in tourism and hotel management.

The subjects included in the curriculum are food and beverages, Wine studies, project management, business management, Intercultural Communication and management, Front office restaurant and management, Sustainable tourism Management, web designing and internet marketing. The new diploma course was inaugurated in 2006 and the second batch of students has also been recruited.

Expert training programs were conducted for the Lecturers of SLITHM in, Web Marketing which were conducted by the Dean of ITH Leo W"erndl in June this year, and the Food and Beverage section by Gunther Lohnert (ITH) in June, for 30 participants.

Teacher training and pedagogic training sessions were conducted in 2005 and again in 2007 for 30 lecturers of SLITHM, by Ms Maria Weisinger, Wilson Lawrence and Hans-peter Gottein.

Hilfswerk provided six Scholarships to Hotel school graduates who had already completed the nine-month Teacher Training program in Salzburg (2006/2007) and are now working as lecturers at the SLITHM.

A Quality Management System (QMS) was introduced to the SLITHM in collaboration with ITH Austria. Three people followed a week's training in Austria in (2005). The QMS will be implemented in October this year, said Project Manager, Tourism Hilfswerk Austria, Sandamala Wickremaratne.

Hilfswerk Austria is one of Austria's biggest organisations for development cooperation, humanitarian aid and cooperation with Eastern Europe. Hilfswerk has 29 offices including Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka they are involved in tourism projects and helping people affected by the tsunami.

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New Destination Social Responsibility Project

The Sri Lanka Tourist Board unveiled plans for a new and exciting project designed to raise Sri Lanka's profile as a destination, offering a socially and environmentally responsible tourism.

Outlining the rationale behind the 'Sri Lanka Tourism's Social Responsibility Service Project', Chairman of the Tourist Board Renton de Alwis said that today's brands needed to ensure they meet the highest ethical and environmental standards to stay competitive.

"The new plan is designed to bring greater numbers of socially and environmentally-aware tourists to Sri Lanka and to enhance their holiday experience while here," he said.

Local communities are the focus of the new plan and a key objective is building community support in the development of tourism. To this end, the plan aims to link communities with tourism activities to ensure that the benefits from tourism actually contributes towards sustainable community development.

Visitors to Sri Lanka will be able to take part in a community service project in one of five broad areas - carbon off-setting, child welfare, animal welfare, peace education, and facilitation for the differently abled. In doing so, they will be able to have the satisfaction of being involved in a worthy cause while on holiday.


Emirates to test A380 in Dubai

Marking its first step in the gradual build-up towards becoming the world's largest operator of the A380 super-jumbo, Emirates Airline, customer of 55 of the 173 aircraft ordered and committed thus far, is gearing up to jointly conduct hot weather operability tests with Airbus on the aircraft in Dubai, starting August 15.


Emirates Engineering together with Airbus will conduct routine maintenance of the A380 aircraft during its Dubai visit.

The tests, beginning with hot weather trials and followed by technical training later in the year, are part of an extensive campaign by Emirates to prepare for the A380's smooth entry into the airline's fleet in 2008; and add to the extreme weather testing conducted by Airbus in the Middle East and Africa last year.

The aircraft, MSN007, will undergo airport compatibility checks, on-ground and in-flight service checks, and ground handling and maintenance procedure tests during its seven-day Dubai stay.

Flown by Airbus test pilots, and experienced and trained Emirates pilots, two flights took to the Dubai skies on August 17 and 18, operating on back-to-back schedules with a two-hour turnaround period.

 

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