‘Life – A Compendium of Biodiversity Stories in Hospitality’, Biodiversity Sri Lanka’s second publication, written by Niresh Eliathamby, with a guest article by Srilal Miththapala was ceremonially launched at BSL’s Fifth Annual CEO Forum held on the 17th September 2020 at Ramada Colombo. The Publication consists of 17 examples of best practices in environment and sustainability aiming to encourage businesses that understand and embrace shared commitment to protect the island’s unique biodiversity. Biodiversity Sri Lanka dedicated the publication and presented the first copy to Mr. Prema Cooray – incumbent Director and Chief Executive Officer of BSL and Chairman of Rainforest Ecolodge (Pvt.) Ltd, for his lifelong service to the Tourism and Hospitality industry and the depth and vision displayed in pioneering the establishment and operationalization of BSL in its formative years.
Mr. Cooray, a Past Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC counts well over 30 years’ experience in travel and tourism. He led the Hotel Sector of Aitken Spence for several years making a significant contribution in making Aitken Spence a leading player in the development of resorts both in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Mrs Shiranee Yasaratne, Advisor to BSL, speaking at the launch stated that the publication is being released in the new norm defined by COVID-19, in which there is remarkable clarity around the importance of biodiversity, especially in the Tourism and Hospitality sector, which is a key contributor to the nation’s economy. We have experienced the vulnerability of humans and the resilience of nature.
We need the protection of nature more than nature needs us. That knowledge – is changing the mindset of every customer in every sphere, and guest expectations in hospitality have changed as much. The examples of best practice that we share in this book aim to encourage businesses that understand and embrace our shared commitment to protecting biodiversity and to sustainability, whilst also inspiring those who seek to build the foundations.
Aligning with biodiversity and nature today, gives us all the option of changing what is currently the greatest threat to business as usual – into an opportunity. We hope that this book inspires you to seize that opportunity. We do hope you enjoy our effort and are inspired by our island’s natural beauty and rich biodiversity and become keenly aware of the measures being taken to protect it. The book will be available for sale at all leading bookshops from October.
The first copies of the book were presented to the companies which contributed with content – Aitken Spence Hotel Managements PLC, Aliya Resort and Spa, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Jetwing Hotels Ltd., Resplendent Ceylon (Pvt.) Ltd., Saraii Village, Sri Lankan Airlines Ltd., The Rainforest Ecolodge (Pvt.) Ltd., the Tokyo Cement Group and Walkers Tours Ltd.
Aitken Spence Travels supported lay out costs while BSL’s Initiating Partner, Dilmah Conservation covered the printing costs of this publication. Dilmah Conservation and Dilmah Tea has supported and collaborated with Biodiversity Sri Lanka throughout its ventures and shared its successes. The 244-page publication contains 17 stories from 11 companies with colour photography and was laid out by Kasun Pradeepa of Wild Studios
The books will be made available for sale at all leading bookstores from the month of October.