Colombo, March 13 (NIA) – Sri Lanka has requested one of the world’s leading tour operators in Germany to promote the island country as a high end tourist destination, Sri Lanka’s Tourism Ministry said here Monday.
World’s leading TUI, has expressed willingness to expand operations in Sri Lanka and the TUI Group will also assist Sri Lanka to develop its hospitality training facilities.
TUI is one of the largest outbound tour operators in Europe.
During recent discussions between Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister John Amaratunga and top Board Members of the Group that included CEO David Burling and Managing Director, Garry Wilson in Germany, Amaratunga emphasized that tourism is expected to play a major role in Sri Lanka’s economy and requested TUI to focus on promoting Sri Lanka as a high end tourist destination.
The Minister also requested TUI to consider the country’s former war torn North and East when expanding their operations in the country in order to provide more economic opportunities for youth in the region.
Managing Director, TUI Group, Garry Wilson elaborating on the proposed expansion said that TUI was contemplating using Sri Lanka as a hub in the Indian Ocean region in order to service other regional destinations.
The Minister while assuring that the government will give such a proposal its fullest support also requested assistance to upgrade hospitality training in Sri Lanka.
In response TUI agreed to collaborate with the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (formerly Ceylon Hotel School) by providing financial assistance as well trained German professionals to develop both curricula and training facilities.
Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism, Paddy Withana who also took part in the discussion noted that the German government was instrumental in initiating training programmes for Sri Lankan youth in the hospitality industry as early as the 1960s.
He recalled that many of those who benefited from such training programmes have gone on to become top managers in leading hotels both in Sri Lanka and overseas.
CEO, TUI Group, Davind Burling said that they hope to announce the Group’s plans for the next three years in November this year.
Under the proposed training program, trainees will receive internationally recognized certificates and language training, making them globally employable.
As the first step, identified satellite schools of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management will be developed with TUI’s assistance.
(The pic featured above shows Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister John Amaratunga with the TUI Group in Germany)