- SLITHM celebrates 50 years of Sri Lanka tourism
- Boutique hotels a fast-growing segment, close to 800 island-wide
- 117 hotels in the pipeline for 2017
- Specialised app to benefit visitors and exhibitors this year
- By Hiruni Dabarera
The 11th edition of the annual expo for hotel supplies and services, Hotel Show Colombo, will be held from 22-24 July at the BMICH, Colombo.
Organised by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA), this year’s exhibition expects to bring out futuristic displays and innovations for the benefit of the local and regional hospitality industry focusing on the theme ‘Hospitality Industry Vision 20-20’.
“Tourism is a fast growing sector in the economy marking a growth of 18% in the arrival of tourists with 1.8 million arrivals last year,” stated Chief Guest of the expo launch ceremony, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Paddy Withana.
Currently there are close to 30,000 hotel rooms available in Sri Lanka in addition to rapidly-growing boutique hotels and apartments. Last year there were 800 boutique hotels reported around the island. A special buyer coordination program has also been incorporated to this year’s Hotel Show to attract this segment further.
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Paddy Withana addressing the launch and press conference of Hotel Show Colombo 2016. Chefs Guild of Lanka Chairman Chef Gerard Mendis, SLAITO President
Devindre Senaratne, CDC Events Chairman Chandra Wickramasinghe, CHSGA President Sunil Dissanayake, CHSGA Vice President Sanjeeva Perera, Institute of Hospitality Chairman Sidath Kodikara, Suyamas International Chairman Lalith Wethasinghe, Bocuse D’ Or President Rohan Fernandopulle are also present
“The tourism sector is set out to become the second highest foreign exchange earner in future. By 2025 there will be FDIs worth $ 1.5 billion in the country. Therefore, a good network of hotels and accommodation with quality equipment, work force and hygienic sanitation will be crucial in future. Recently, a gazette was introduced by the Government to register hotels to upkeep their standards,” the Chairman added.
“At the start, the Hotel Show Colombo was organised once in two years. But with increased demand, we now hold it annually,” shared CHSGA President Sunil Dissanayake.
There will be a Food Festival, show cooking of different cuisines (Japanese, Indian/Mogul, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Italian and Thai) by 10 five star hotels from Colombo and the award presentation for the National Bartenders Competition and the Sri Lankan National Barista Championship held in concurrence with the Hotel Show.
The exhibition this year will have many new value additions such as a specialized app for the benefit of the exhibitors and visitors along with high-tech signage. It will host close to 250 stalls from over 25 countries and is deemed to be the largest hospitality trade fair in South Asia.