SEA’s hospitality leaders to gather in Colombo

The South East Asia Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), a top-level gathering of international investors, business leaders, government ministers and officials will return to Colombo, Sri Lanka in November, under the patronage of Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka.

At the inaugural event in 2016, the Sri Lankan government, keen to attract international finance, announced a series of tourism development zones and the President promised that the next three years, 2017-19, would be investment years with special concessions to overseas investors.

Dr. Prabath Ukkwatte, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Club, the Founder sponsor of AHTIC, hosted a delegation of Chinese investors, who expressed enthusiasm for opportunities in Sri Lanka, citing its tremendous variety of attractions, such as ancient temples, wild elephants and unspoilt beaches, all within close range of each other.

Dr. Ukkwatte confirmed he is, once again, planning to host a group of prospective investors at AHTIC to showcase the islands investment opportunities. He commented “AHTIC is becoming the biggest international hospitality conference in Sri Lanka and I am proud to be the founder sponsor”.

According to the WTTC in 2015 Travel & Tourism directly accounted for 5% of total economy GDP for the region, and a further 7.4% in indirect and induced GDP. Over 32 million jobs across the ten countries are supported directly or indirectly by Travel & Tourism. A favourable climate, proximity to large outbound markets like China, good infrastructure by the standards of emerging economies, connectivity to further afield origin markets, and price competitiveness by the standards of developed economies, make many countries within the ASEAN region highly attractive travel destinations.

The 2017 edition of the South East Asia Hotel & Tourism Investment Forum will be hosted by the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. Deni Dukic, General Manager of the Galle Face Hotel commented “It is my distinct pleasure to welcome all representatives to Sri Lanka and to be able to present the vast range of experiences available within Colombo. If there is Paradise on earth, it is Ceylon – This is indefinitely the most apt description of Sri Lanka and is the words of none other than Anton Chekhov, who as it happens was a guest at The Galle Face Hotel in 1890. Sri Lanka as a destination has an array unique experiences centred around a culture that has been in existence for centuries. We at The Galle Face Hotel are proud to be part of such illustrious history, being in existence for 153 years, combining old world charm with curated modernity”.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, co-founder of the conference said “We are delighted to be returning to Colombo for the second time and look forward to working with Mandeep Lamba, Managing Director India, Hotels & Hospitality Group at JLL and his team on the conference programme to make the event even more impactful and useful to all delegates in 2017, by providing not only an overview of Sri Lanka, but the entire region”.