'Feel Negombo 2009'
Sri Lanka tourism is forging ahead with impressive figures recorded
during the past two months and the hotel occupancy rate will increase in
the next couple of months, said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion
Bureau and Tourism Development Authority, Bernard Goonetileke.
said, the tourism industry has organised a series of events to promote
tourism in various locations across the country. The Negombo Beach
Festival is one such mega tourism promotion event that will take place
from December 11-13.
"A few years ago many said that hotels will have to be closed down
and employees will have to be retrenched due to the global economic
recession. Today with the turn of events following the recovery from the
crisis the industry is rebounding", Goonetileke said. The objective of
the mega tourism bash in Negombo is to create a vibrant and attractive
image of Negombo as a popular destination for local and foreign
travellers. Feel Negombo 2009, in line with its theme of catering to the
entire family, has a host of events and entertainment lined up for three
There has been a tremendous response from the Hikkaduwa Beach fest
which is an annual event that attracts a large number of local and
foreign visitors. The benefit to the locality through the event is over
Rs. 100 million.
Sri Lanka tourism is planning to hold events targeting tourism
development in key locations such as Galle, Kandy, Hikkaduwa and Negombo.
Minister of Tourism-Western Provincial Council, Nimal Lanza said
Negombo has the required infrastructure for an upmarket beach tourist
The tourism industry is targeting 2.5 million tourists to the country
by 2016. The lack of sound infrastructure and the number of hotel rooms
will be some of the major challenges which the industry will need to
look into. LF
To showcase Lanka's food supply chain:
The Agribusiness, Food Processing and Packaging fraternities will
once again combine on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of August 2010 to showcase
Sri Lanka's complete food supply chain. As in previous years, the show
will create opportunities for individuals and companies to introduce new
products, technology and services. The show is a public private
partnership, with the Ministry of Industries and the Ministry of
Agriculture Development supporting the event for the ninth year in
Profoods / Propack 2010 is all about getting Sri Lanka focused at
this important task at hand. The Exhibition will have around 200 stalls
covering the totality of the food supply chain, giving opportunities for
investors, traders and consumers to see first hand, the availability and
opportunities in this industry.
The event will showcase the latest products in the local processed
food industry, sampling of consumer favourites, innovations and
technology development in packaging, newest agricultural machinery and
services, processed food hygiene education and many more. The concurrent
events such as the Food Awards of excellence and the cleaner diner
programme will benchmark best practices and reward performance within
This exhibition has been designed in such a manner that the public,
who are the end consumers, derive substantial knowledge and information
about new products and advanced food technologies. This is evidenced by
the growing number of visitors to the exhibition every year, making it
one of the most popular exhibitions to be visited.
Northern and Eastern provinces which were virtually alienated from
the rest of the country during the last two or three decades, are
expected to join the main stream of the country's agricultural,
industrial and economic development. It is a well-known fact that the
North and the East possess an unmatchable capacity for production,
specially in the agricultural sector, and the organizers will be mapping
out their strategies, taking into account the positive changes that are
expected to take place when the exhibition is due to be held. One
important aspect of our plans is to transfer the advanced technologies
to the newly developing areas.
This event, growing year by year, helps all stakeholders of the
processed food, packaging and agriculture industry to exchange their
technical know-how, and enrich business relationships. This is an event
that undoubtedly stimulates country's economic growth. A noteworthy
feature of this whole process is the high level of benefits that are
passed down to the farmers, who are the indispensable and also most
deserving segment of the processed food chain.
Profoods/Propack 2010 will also showcase many overseas companies
participating, especially from the SAARC region. An area has been
allocated for international pavilions that have seen the tremendous
growth of this event and the popularity it has among all consumers and
stakeholders in the industry.
In 2010 the organizers plan to increase the number of stalls
allocated for these companies thereby encouraging more participation
from the rural areas.
'Tourism will flourish'
The dawn of peace in the country will further increase job
opportunities in the airline and related industries, said the directress
of the International Airline Ticketing Academy Mayoni Perera, the first
International Air Transport Association (IATA) recognized training
school in Sri Lanka.
She said that already there is a big difference and we are very
optimistic of 2010 and beyond as tourism will flourish in the country.
The International Airline Ticketing Academy offers three month diploma
courses related to travel and tourism that are equivalent to degrees.
The only requirement is the knowledge to understand English and it is
proved by the fact that our youngest student was 14 years while the
oldest student was 72 years, said Perera.
She said that not only school leavers but house wives, frequent
flyers as well as people seeking to start a self employment venture can
attend these courses.
The lecturers are IATA qualified and not only give the students the
subject knowledge but also the knowledge on grooming, customer care,
manners as well as the value of punctuality. Working on time is
essential for a person employed in the airline industry as one minute
delay cause a heavy cost to the airline. Therefore, everybody who plans
to enter the profession must learn punctuality among other things such
as courtesy and be well groomed at all times.
All the travel agencies and airlines contact the academy when they
have vacancies as they know that we give them a thorough knowledge on
every discipline. In addition on the job training is provided by many
airlines to our students while our students are employed by most of the
airlines around the world and also by all 91 IATA travel agents in Sri
Perera said that they also conduct courses in Maldives and also have
foreign students studying with them in Sri Lanka. She said that classes
are held once a week for three months and most importantly they have to
do their homework which is corrected and returned. The students can call
us at any time of the day even at night if they are having doubts when
She said that the airline industry is the only profession where a
person can apply the knowledge globally be it in Sri Lanka or Jordan as
the workings are the same everywhere. Therefore a student can be
employed anywhere in the world once he is qualified.
We take three intakes for a year in January, May and September and
students can select whether they want to attend weekend or week day
classes according to their preference. She said that though the academy
started conducting courses only in airline ticketing now they conduct
courses on Diploma in Airline Fares/AE-ticketing, reservations
marketing, Airport Operations and Cargo, airline cabin crew training and
She said that the world's youngest IATA holder who is 16 years is
also from the International Airline Ticketing Academy and this proves
The academy started its operations in 1991 by Deepal Perera who is a
veteran in the field with seven students and we have grown to what we
are today as we always maintain standards and give the best to our
Emirates arrives early to Paris
An Emirates' A380 will serve Paris from December 29, one month
earlier than planned.
The airline had previously announced that the super-jumbo would head
to Paris Charles de Gaulle from February 1 next year, but an operational
review, coupled with demand on the route, has led to an earlier
The 489-seat aircraft will be incorporated into Emirates' double
daily flights to Paris. It will initially service three of the morning
departures from Dubai, becoming daily from January 17 2010.
Earlier this month, Emirates bucked the trend in the aviation
industry by posting a sizeable profit increase for its operations in the
April-September period of the current financial year.
During this period, the airline announced a profit of Dhs 752 million
(US $ 205 million) and, significantly, an 18% increase in passengers.
The growth in passengers and earnings has been mirrored in the French
market and has been a major consideration in the earlier introduction of
the A380 onto the Paris route.
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates' Senior Vice President, Commercial
Operations, Europe and Russian Federation, said: "Our forward carryings
out of France are extremely strong. Coupled with the earlier aircraft
availability on that route, it means we can provide passengers with the
experience of flying this highly popular aircraft between Dubai and
Paris much sooner than originally anticipated. It also provides our
passengers with an earlier A380 service all the way through to Sydney,
Auckland, Bangkok and, soon, Seoul."
The A380 serving Paris will have a configuration of 14 Private Suites
in First Class, 76 new generation, fully flat seats in Business Class
and 399 seats in the Economy cabin.