21 March 2011

Sri Lanka Hosts Joint Meeting of WTO Commission for South Asia, East Asia & the Pacific. sustainable Development through Tourism

21st March 2011, www.dailynews.lk, By Gayan Kanchana

Tourism industry in the county can be developed in a sustainable manner. a UNWTO official said.

“Now Sri Lanka has identified tourism as one of the emerging fast track industries to develop the country. This positive trend will go beyond tourism to attract investors, develop infrastructure, create more jobs and enhance the reputation of the country internationally,” World Tourism Organization Media Officer Marcelo Risi told the Daily News Business at an exclusive interview.

Sri Lanka is a member of the World tourism organization. We always extend our support to develop the Sri Lankan tourism. As an emerging country Sri Lanka has immense natural and cultural assets. Sri Lanka is a bio diversity paradise. Tourism in the country can be developed sustainable manner, he said.

UNWTO responsibility is to increase the awareness of the countries like Sri Lanka to the international community. Now Sri Lanka has regained the political and social stability and number of tourism arrivals have been improved tremendously and the numbers tell us the long stories when compare with previous years tourism arrivals in the country.

Under these favourable conditions Sri Lanka can achieve a sustainable development through tourism, he said.

Sri Lanka will host the 23rd Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for South Asia and the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, in Colombo Hilton from March 24-26. This will be held in conjunction with the UNWTO Conference on Mainstreaming Tourism in the Media.

Items on the agenda include measures UNWTO is taking to mainstream tourism on the global agenda, latest developments on the implementation of the tourism satellite account, the T20 Ministers’ initiative and a brief on UNWTO’s study planned on the importance of domestic tourism.

The Conference on Mainstreaming Tourism in the Media will focus on how tourism can be a key vehicle to overcome adverse publicity and to rebuild the image of a country while repositioning it against a backdrop of socio-political challenges.

Media play a vital role in the tourism sector globally. This is the first time UNWTO has invited diverse media groups to participated at the events like this. Tourism should not be published only in the direct media such as travel and tourism magazines, it should go beyond direct media such as business pages in the newspapers, he said.

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