- Published on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 13:13
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Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa will open Wednesday (15) morning the Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute which has been built at Kundasale in Kandy. The institute, equipped with all the modern facilities, is meant to train personnel required for the programme to attract 2.5 million tourists to Sri Lanka by 2016.
According to the tourism development plan for the next five years implemented under Minister Rajapaksa’s direction based on the Mahinda Chinthana Vision, Sri Lanka is expected to earn an annual income of three billion US dollars by 2016. It will provide 500,000 people with employment opportunities. Altogether 50,000 new hotel rooms will be built under this plan.
The number of tourist arrivals last year was 1,005,605 while in January this year 97411 tourists visited the country. It is to meet the requirements of the increasing number of tourists visiting the country that the new management institute is training personnel.
Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Japanese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Nobuhito HoBo, Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, JICA representative in Sri Lanka Harumi Ao, Economic Development Ministry’s Director-General Sunil Hettiarachchi, Tourism Development Authority Chairman Bhashwara Gunaratne, Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute Chairman Chandra Mohotti and its Director-General Senaka Wijewardena will be among the invitees to the opening ceremony.
Economic Development Ministry and the Tourism and Hotel Management Institute together have built this management training centre with the help of JAICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
The building housing the institute comprises a fully furnished office complex, fully equipped kitchen for training the students, auditoriums, class rooms, restaurant, dining room, library, computer section, open air theatre, large hall for holding functions and five luxury rooms for local and foreign tourists.
According to the Kandy hotel management institute’s principal Irandi Wijegunawardena this hotel school has the capacity for training over 500 students a year. The courses include training of chefs, training in restaurant services, guest relations, hotel room management and adapting Kandyan traditions and culture to the tourism industry. This training institute is open on weekends and at night for outsiders who are keen to follow such courses. All the students gain practical experience at this institute since it also serves both local and foreign tourists as does a normal tourist hotel.
Principal Wijegunawardene says this tourism promotion programme directed by SLTDA under Minister Basil Rajapksa’s guidance would benefit all sections of society and help to increase as never before the income levels of those connected with the industry.