The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Bio Diversity platform conference targeting the SME sector of the hospitality industry Co sponsored by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau( SLTPB) together with United Nations Development Programme( UNDP), the Chairman SLTPB Rohantha Athukorala announced that after three months of deliberation with the private sector Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions 2015 master plan has been firmed up which includes a clear direction on how to practice environmental sustainability which has been ranked dangerously low at 103 by the World Tourism Index 2015.
Rohantha Athukorala- Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau, Ms Lovita Ramguttee- Deputy Country Director - UNDP, Prema Cooray - Sri Lanka Bio Dive
The One a Million Tree Stories Project partnering Rotary Sri Lanka and HNB that was launched by Miss World Rolene Strauss has now been ably supported by the two key tourism industry bodies SLITO and THASL who are chalking up an industry diffusion process said Athukorala. Sri Lanka's forest cover has depleted from 53% to 29% as at end 2012 which is very alarming and has to be corrected as a priority he said welcoming the initiative of the Bio Diversity unit of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. But, progress is more important than perfection he emphasized.
We must get the informal sector to practice Environmental sustainability, but the problem is that the gap of the registered properties which is referred as the formal sector and the informal sector has winded to the extend it is at a 400: 2600 ratio which gives us an indication of the challenge at hand. Let's use this conference to target the informal sector so that message test starts moving to the market place voiced Athukorala where 150 SME properties were totally sponsored by the SLTPB for the conference. ' growing without hurting the Environment' must be inculcated in the industry he said.
The Chairman mentioned that even though the spike of 11 places have been advanced by Sri Lanka in the Global Tourism Index the performance, in the Environment Sustainability pillar we are at a low ebb of 103 given that on an attribute like forest cover, Sri Lanka dropped from 54% to 29% in the last two decades which is serious he said. We must now get together and give leadership to Sri Lanka voiced Chairman SLTPB who was responsible for initiating the " one million tree story project' partnering the originator Rotary and HNB and now CIMA has also rallied round the project.
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