Tourism in Ruhuna (TIR) – the brainchild of veteran national tour guide lecturer Jayadewa Sudusinghe - aimed at promoting tourism in Ruhuna and making Tissamaharama a tourism hub in the South, is all set to mark World Tourism Day this month in Tissa. With more than 35 years of experience in diverse fields in tourism, Jayadewa Sudusinghe together with colleagues like Akthar Mohamed and others are planning a major event in Tissa on September 26 and 27, to coincide with World Tourism Day, which has received the blessings of Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranathunga and Minister Chamal Rajapaksa.
Mr. Sudusinghe said the TIR team recently had a fruitful meeting with Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranathunga who had assured them that next year’s national event to mark World Tourism Day would be held in Tissamaharama, given its significance in promoting tourism. This year’s national event will be held in Kandy.
Objective of TIR is to promote domestic and international tourism and spread this positive message to the world. Tissamaharama is just 15 or 20 minutes away from the Mattala Airport.
“However I am glad that Minister Ranathunga was so keen about our upcoming event and promised to take part in it after the national event in Kandy. He advised us to get the support of people in the area, showcase their talents and help enhance their livelihood. In fact we had planned things on the same lines. Besides stalls selling handicraft, food items unique to Tissa, we will also conduct a series of awareness programmes. Minister Ranathunga said he was keen to develop zonal tourism too by asking travel agents to promote Ruhuna as well. Tissa is just 15 or 20 minutes away from the Mattala Airport and stands as the biggest advantage, in addition to other easy-to-reach tourist attractions like wildlife sanctuaries. It can attract more toursists as it is not a congested area.
TIR aims at promoting domestic and international tourism and spread this positive message to the world. We held a meeting with representatives of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) about our upcoming mission and their feedback was encouraging. I am grateful to SLTDA chairperson Ms. Kimali Fernando and Director General Ms. Dhammika Wijesinghe for their ready support to revive our tourism industry.
Among those who joined our discussions were members of national tour guide lecturers including Upali Sudusinghe, Nimal Weeratunga, Mr. Ravin, Wasantha Perera, Dr. Mahesh Priyadarshana, M. Akhtar, Manoj Maddage and Thilina Samarasuriya.
I am also grateful to Minister Chamal Rajapaksa who has always been the biggest strength for Ruhuna in addition to Hambantota District Development Committee Chairman Dr. Nihal Galappaththi,” said Jayadewa Sudusinghe.