World Tourism Day 2022 – Rethinking Tourism

The annual World Tourism Day celebration at Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka was held in a grand manner through physical and online platforms. Prior to the World Tourism Day, the Tourism Summit was successfully held via online on 22nd September 2022, with the participation of eminent industry professionals, lecturers and undergraduates. Prof. M.S.M. Aslam, Professor in Tourism Management, Department of Tourism Management, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Ms. Kimari Fernando, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism; and Mr. Dmitri Cooray, Manager – Operations at Jetwing Hotels were the guest speakers on that event.

The official Tourism Day celebrations were held on 26th September at the university premises. During the main ceremony, the 2nd volume of “WOW” E-magazine was launched. In parallel to the Tourism Day Celebrations, the “Beverio” competition was held for the undergraduates of the Department of Tourism Studies. ‘Beverio’ was a local beverage competition hosted by the HTE Club in collaboration with the EEMU of Uva Wellassa University. Mr. Chaminda Thennakoon, the Principal of SLITHM Bandarawela, Mr. Pushpakumara Gamage, R&B Manager of 98 Acres Resort and Spa, and Mr. Asanka Bandara, F&B Lecturer at Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka, were the judges of the competition.

This glamorous ceremony was attended by many dignitaries, including Professor Jayantha Lal Ratnasekara, Vice-Chancellor of Uva Wellassa University. Professor Ruwan Ranasinghe, the keynote speaker, stated that strategies to restore the tourism industry should be reconsidered because the tourism industry in Sri Lanka has fallen to a lower level than before after the civil war as a result of the current economic crisis. Due to the current economic crisis, not only the tourism industry but also the human living status went back by two decades. However, Prof. Ruwan Ranasinghe suggested that uplifting the tourism industry in Sri Lanka is one of the main options to get the country out of this crisis.

On 4th October 2022, the Uva provincial celebration was held at Rathugala indigenous village and launched the entrepreneurial development project for Rathugala Indigenous Community, which was supported by the “Australia Awards – Sri Lanka & Maldives”. This event was organized by Ministry of Tourism – Uva Province, the Central Cultural Fund and Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka.