Thursday, 29th March 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka
The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and Temasek Foundation International (TF International) announced a partnership with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) of the Government of Sri Lanka on Thursday, 29th March 2017 in BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka, to share Singapore’s experience in digital tourism destination marketing and promotion. The three-year programme, which will include the training of 100 government officials from tourism-associated ministries and agencies, is supported by Temasek Foundation International with a grant amount of S$460,200.
The Launching Ceremony was held in Hall Jasmin, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) with the participation of 150 public sector tourism stakeholders in Sri Lanka.
The traditional oil lamp lightning ceremony was conducted with the participation of Mr. Kong Wy Mun, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, Mr. Stanley Lee, Senior Director, Temasek Foundation International, Ms. Anna Lee, Director, Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, Ms. Lisa Chua, Senior Lecturer, Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism Management, Temasek Polytechnic, Ms. Charlyn Ng, Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, Mr. P M Withana, Chairman of SLTPB, Mr. Sutheash Balasubramanium, Managing Director of SLTPB, Mr. Malraj Kiriella, Board Member of SLTPB, Director General of SLTDA, Mr. Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary of Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Mrs. Shirani Weerakoon, Additional Secretary (Development) of Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Mr. Prema Cooray, Chairman, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Mr. Sunil Dissanayake, Chairman, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Ms. Aarthie Dharmadasa, Representative from Prime Minister’s Office, Ms. Ketheeswaran Vijeyluckshmi, Secretary, Northern Provincial Council.
The official forum was started after singing both country’s national anthems which denoted the unity of both nations.
A grant agreement was signed between Mr. P M Withana, Chairman of SLTPB and Mr. Kong Wy Mun, Chief Executive Officer of SCE. It was witnessed by Mr. Sutheash Balasubramanium, Managing Director of SLTPB, Mr. Malraj Kiriella, Board Member of SLTPB, Director General of SLTDA from Sri Lanka end and Mr. Stanley Lee, Senior Director of TF International, Ms. Anna Lee, Director, Singapore Cooperation Enterprise from Singapore.
Sri Lanka is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the region as it boasts of natural pristine beaches, rare and unique wildlife, picturesque landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. The country prides itself on its plethora of tourism offerings and acknowledges the increasing shifts towards digital media to meet the expectations of current and future tourists in this technologically connected world. As such, the SLTPB, which is the authoritative government body responsible for handling all marketing and promotional activities related to the travel and tourism industry of Sri Lanka, would like to embark on a digital platform to raise awareness of and promote the country’s tourism attraction sites, as well as to further understand tourist demographics and needs in order to enhance the positioning of and offerings in its tourism industry. It is with this objective in mind that the SLTPB approached SCE and expressed their interest to tap on Singapore’s experience in transforming its tourism industry through technology.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is the authoritative government body responsible for handling all marketing and promotional activities related to the travel and tourism industry of Sri Lanka. The Bureau headed by the Chairman, Managing Director and a Board of Directors comprising of representatives from the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism etc. SLTPB’s main objectives would be marketing and promoting of Sri Lanka directly and indirectly as a tourist and travel destination of quality specified in accordance with the Tourism Development Plan in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau and Sri Lanka Institute of Hotel Management and with all travel and tourism stakeholders. These efforts are focused to promote Sri Lanka as a gateway to the South Asian Regions and making Sri Lanka known as the centre of excellence in tourism management and development in the region.
Mr. P M Withana, Chairman of SLTPB, said: “We are delighted to partner with Temasek Foundation International and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise for the Tourism Development Programme. In this important first step, we hope to build essential skills and strengthen the capacities of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and other line agencies which we work closely with. Learning from the Singaporean tourism story is important for us, and we hope we can learn from their example, and take tourism in Sri Lanka to new heights.”
SCE, as the lead agency, will aggregate relevant Singapore expertise from the public agencies, institutions and private sector to deliver this capacity-building programme. A series of customised workshops will be conducted in both Sri Lanka and Singapore to build the capabilities of the Sri Lankan government officials in the areas of tourism development, digital and social media marketing, as well as tourism public relations and communications. It is envisaged that by the end of the programme, the officials will be able to apply the acquired knowledge to enhance the tourism development plan for Sri Lanka.
Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) is an agency formed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore in May 2006 to respond effectively to the multitude of foreign requests to tap on Singapore’s development experience. SCE works closely with Singapore’s 16 ministries and over 60 statutory boards to tailor possible solutions to match the foreign parties’ needs. SCE also serves as the focal point of access to expertise across these public agencies. SCE’s main objective is to share Singapore’s public sector expertise to interested foreign parties which can be government agencies or non-government entities. In doing so, we aim to build long-term partnerships with foreign parties and generate business opportunities for Singapore’s private sectors. With effect from 31 August 2012, SCE was restructured as an integrated arm of IE Singapore, the government agency promoting international trade and partnering Singapore companies in going global, to optimize the synergies between both organizations.
Mr. Kong Wy Mun, Chief Executive Officer of SCE, said: “Sri Lanka is a beautiful country abundant in wildlife and scenic nature landscapes, and is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites. There is a great potential to boost its tourism industry and increase the tourist footfall for Sri Lanka by enhancing tourist experiences through technology and innovation. We hope that through this partnership, Singapore will be able to share our relevant experience in the areas of digital tourism destination marketing and promotion with SLTPB and its other associated agencies, and to better streamline tourism information and accessibility of tourist attraction sites.”
Mr. Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation International said, “Temasek Foundation International supports learning-exchange and capability-building programmes across Asia and beyond. This programme facilitates the exchange of ideas and knowledge among the leaders and specialists in the tourism industry. Through this programme, we hope to enhance the capabilities of public officials in tourism promotion and development, and nurture networks of cooperation between the relevant agencies in Sri Lanka and Singapore in the long run."
Ms. Lisa Chua, Senior Lecturer, Diploma in Hospitality & Tourism Management, Temasek Polytechnic conducted the training programme on sharing the Best Practices of Singapore after the profile presentations conducted by Ms. Charlyn Ng, Singapore Coopertion Enterprise.
Temasek Foundation International is a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation that funds and supports programmes, which aim to build capabilities with programme partners in Asia and beyond. These programmes enable human and social capital development, contributing towards a more vibrant and connected global community, with positive networks of cooperation. The programmes also aim to enhance capabilities in the areas of health care, education, public administration, urban management and disaster-response. Temasek Foundation International, formerly known as Temasek Foundation, was set up in 2007 by Singapore investment company, Temasek. It was renamed Temasek Foundation International in 2016. Temasek Foundation International also manages the Singapore Technologies Endowment Programme (STEP), which was established in 1997. This programme focuses on social and cultural activities, leadership skills, environmental knowledge and innovation. Temasek Foundation International is a member of the Temasek Philanthropic Platform, which was established by Temasek to better serve the evolving needs of the wider community, reinforcing its approach to sustainable giving. Since its inception in 1974, Temasek has established 17 endowments, which focus on building people, building communities, building capabilities and rebuilding lives.
Senior Officers in the forum shared their views and opinions for the development of Sri Lanka tourism inculcating the best practices of Singapore.
The training was concluded by offering certificates for all participants.
Steering Committee of the Programme