Representatives from the tourism sector in Sri Lanka have begun a study tour as a part of the ‘Sustainable Tourism Development’ Short Course Award program.
The Australia Awards Short Course for South and West Asia is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Facilitated by Griffith University’s Institute of Tourism and the University of the Sunshine Coast with assistance from Griffith’s International Business Development Unit, the study tour is just one component of the Short Course Award program designed to develop more effective training for tourism professionals in developing countries.
Australia Awards are prestigious international Scholarships, Fellowships and Short Courses that offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake short-term study, research and professional development opportunities in support of key development and foreign affairs priorities.
The group, consisting of 25 tourism practitioners, government officers and university academics, will take part in a range of workshops, seminars and site visits.
The purpose of this Short Course Award is to improve the enabling environment of the sustainable tourism sector, develop linkages between the two countries’ tourism operators and enhance the participants’ overall business planning and processes.
Travelling from various locations in the Sunshine Coast to far north Queensland before finishing the tour in the Gold Coast, the group will visit many locations around Australia over the next ten days.
Participants will develop better practices and understandings of areas such as destination governance, international-ready business, RTO performance, business planning and innovation, which can be implemented in Sri Lanka in the future.
The group will visit a vast array of tourist locations including the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, Cairns foreshore, Port Douglas, the Temple of Hou Wang and even the Daintree Rainforest, gaining knowledge to influence their professional fields and communities.
Two prominent participants involved are Mr. Kanishka Nishendra Jayatunga, the Principal and Senior Lecturer at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management, and Mr. Dileepa Thushantha Mudadeniya, Chairman of International Creative Performances Pvt Ltd.
With the long-term goal of aligning the program with the Sri Lanka Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-2020, the representatives involved hope to work towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2025.
The group is set to fly back to Sri Lanka on March 31, where they will translate their newfound knowledge to contribute to Sri Lanka’s development, focusing on the economic benefits of tourism and creating gainful employment through community engagement.