CNN’s Richard Quest among speakers at Colombo summit

Recognizing the need to uplift Sri Lanka’s travel industry in the wake of 4/20, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is set to host the third edition of the ‘Future of Tourism Summit’ (FOT 2019), on the 23rd of September, at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.

Running under the theme ‘Challenges and Growth in the Face of a Crisis’, this year’s event will bring together top global destination experts, so they can share their specialist knowledge and insights on how tourism industries can implement sustainable strategies in the long-run and recover and rebuild following a variety of incidents ranging from terror attacks, to natural disasters.

With tourism often contributing substantially to economic growth of different nations, it is imperative that travel brands and industry professionals alike have the tools and know-how needed to respond to and recover after a period of crisis.

This year’s FOT 2019 summit will feature an exclusive line-up of speakers and in-depth talks with top destination marketers and travel industry professionals.

The summit will kick-off with the keynote speaker of FOT 2019, Anita Mendiratta (Special Advisor to the Secretary General, UNWTO) who will explore her topic ‘Rising Above – Emerging Stronger Through Crisis’ followed by a special discussion on the comprehension of future of tourism locally and globally, with Richard Quest (CNN Correspondent and host of Quest Means Business).

On the topic of ‘Facing a Crisis – Best Practices and implementing a winning destination campaign’ Puneet Chhatwal (Managing Director and CEO of Taj Hotels, TATA Group) will share his experiences and initiatives for Taj Hotels. He will then join Dileep Mudadeniya (Vice President John Keells Group, Head of Brand Marketing Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and CEO Cinnamon Life Mall) and Anita Mendiratta for the first panel discussion moderated by Damian Cook (CEO, E-Tourism Frontiers). Besides being the conference curator and moderator to panel discussions, Damian Cook will also speak on ‘Priority actions, partners and channels when connecting with resilient markets’.

The summit will also feature Ashish Hemrajani (Founder and CEO, Book My Show) who will speak on the ‘Role of Entertainment in Destination Rebuilding’, Vesta Ratkeviciute (Sr. Regional Communications & Marketing Consultant – Southeast Asia Euromonitor International) on ‘Global Consumer Trends; Opportunities for the Travel Industry’, Michael Yam (CEO and Managing Director of Impetus Alliance) on ‘The breakthrough in Investment tourism’ and Vidhi Godiawala (Business Development Manager, Central & South Asia, STR) on ‘Post recovery of Accommodation Sector – Lessons from other destinations and trends in Sri Lanka’ and Derek Jones (CEO, DER Touristik UK) on ‘Building destination confidence amongst tour operators’.

An investor forum discussion will be conducted consisting of a panel of Dillip Rajakarier (CEO Minor Hotel Group), Malik Fernando (Managing Director, Resplendent Ceylon), Krishan Balendra (Chairman, John Keells Holdings) and Shiromal Cooray (Chairman, Jetwing Hotels) which will be moderated by Murtaza Jafferjee (CEO, JB Securities).

A closing panel will focus on hospitality best practices, implementing a winning destination campaign and a recovery marketing plan with reference to case-studies from Kenya, Bali and Taj Hotels with Vidhi Godiawala, Derek Jones, Vesta Ratkevicuite, and Ashish Hemrajani moderated by Damian Cook.

Commenting on the FOT Summit 2019, Dileep Mudadeniya, Vice President John Keells Holdings, Head of Brand Marketing Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts and CEO Cinnamon Life Mall stated that: ‘’As pioneers of this innovative industry event, Cinnamon Hotel & Resorts constantly strives to spearhead local and regional industry growth and progress. Developing a strong recovery strategy, strengthening our ability to address a crisis and act on it effectively and taking all the vibrancy and diversity that our nation has to offer as a destination, to the world are all key priorities in the coming months. This event will provide industry professionals and those who are passionate about business with the tools, tips, insights and understanding that they need to take our tourism industry forward, keeping sustainability in mind. We are a resilient nation and a country that has the ability to unite and come together to achieve positive change. The support for Sri Lanka in the global industry has been a powerful reminder of how well-loved our country and our people are, and we are well-positioned to rise up and build up.”

Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit endorsed  by United Nations World Tourism Organisation, International Media Partner, CNN Travel, In Association with Mercedes Benz Sprinter by DIMO, Powered by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Destination Partner – So Sri Lanka, Electronic Media Partner – YES101 & Legends96.6, Airline Partner – SriLankan Airlines, Mobile Partner – Mobitel, Digital Partner – Xiteb.

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is a chain comprising 14 distinct hotels and resorts located in key areas across Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The brand embodies a passion for inspired living and promises holistic and enhanced experiences that are tailor-made to suit the specific interests of travelers. The Cinnamon brand focuses on delivering memorable holidays and getaways that deliver exceptional standards of service whilst showcasing the warmth and vibrancy of contemporary Sri Lankan hospitality.

Want to meet and engage with leaders in destination marketingBook your space now: or or call us on 071 711 8111


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