On the invitation of the institute for cultural diplomacy in Berlin the Minister for Tourism and Sports Navin Dissanayake mentioned that be is ceylon tea or the apparel industry of Sri Lanka which together is a 7 billion dollar industry for Sri Lanka, we in Sri Lanka always drive for sustainable development. Hence the Tourism industry being sustainable will become a way of life in the near future. The UNWTO Secretary General Refai Patel and the Ambassordor for Sri Lanka and Switzerland Karunatileka Amunugama was in attendance with a distinguish gathering of special invitees as the institute in Berlin including Chairamn of SLTPB Dr Rohantha Athukorala and chairman SLTDA Paddy Vitharana.
The logic for the argument was that ceylon tea over years have fashioned itself to be the ethically manufactured cleanest tea in the world as per the Kyoto protocol. The booming apparel industry has also transformed it self to give Sri Lanka the credibility of becoming the ‘ ethical sourcing destination of the world’ for the top globally retail brands. Hence, the Tourism industry which was effected by the conflict for almost thirty decades will change itself to meet the sustainable standards of the world over time as for us in Sri Lanka which is an island with limited resources will naturally practice and become the global standard for sustainability. In fact some hotel properties have become the Asia’s first green hotel which are directions in the correct path. The real challenge is how Sri Lanka meets the challenge of skilled staff given that the unemployment levels are at a healthy 4% and below. This is a challenge that the industry must address for the future sustainability of the industry he acknowledged.