IOH Sri Lanka Chairman Sidath Kodikara addressing the gathering and (seated from left), IOH Sri Lanka Treasurer Eraj Abeywardane, IOH Sri Lanka Vice Chairman Thusith Samaraweera, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Paddy Withana, Citrus Leisure Managing Director Dilith Jayaweera, Laugfs Leisure Limited Director Srilal Miththpala and IOH Sri Lanka Secretary Sugath Illangkoon
By Zahara Zuhair
The 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Institute of Hospitality (IOH) Sri Lanka International branch was held recently, reappointing Sidath Kodikara as Chairman for the third
Addressing the gathering, Kodikara said that the continuous increase in tourist arrivals and average tourist spending had helped increase tourist earnings to Sri Lanka
by 22.6 percent.
“Earnings reached US $ 2.9 billion in 2015; arrivals last year increased by 17.8 percent to 1.7 million visitors. India has become the most significant source market for tourism for us, closely followed by China, United Kingdom (UK), Germany, the Maldives and France.
These six countries accounted for 54.8 percent of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka,”
He said that in line with the government’s target, it is expected to increase the number of total hotel rooms to a level above 80,000, tourist arrivals up to 4.5 million and the total number of employees working in the tourism sector up to 800,000 by 2020. He noted that Sri Lanka is quiet capable of meeting the skilled human resources required to meet these growth targets from within the country as it’s up to the industry to ensure that the opportunities are created for Sri Lankans instead of looking to
“We can see in some hotels we have foreign general managers whereas we have capable Sri Lankan who are holding general manager positions in overseas as well as in Sri Lanka in five-star properties,” he said.
Briefing about the institute’s activities in the concluded year, he said that they rolled out its first middle-managers programme called ‘Manager’s Tool Chest’ to develop professionalism among hotel managers.
“This programme addresses a huge vacuum in training and exposure opportunities available for middle-level managers in the hospitality industry,”
He said that workshops are planned around Sri Lanka and a globally recognised certificate will be awarded end of
“The year 2016/17 is set to be an exciting year for the institute and the success depends solely on our membership. In the year ended we ensured close alignments with all stipulate government standards, without compromising our activity plans.
I’m confident that as the journey of our institute has just begun, our membership is given to take the Sri Lanka chapter to top global heights,” he added.
Pic by Indraratna Balasuriya