Meeting with SAARC Cultural Centre 2022

Focusing on promoting South Asian tourism and cultural heritage, SCCI Vice President (Sri Lanka) / FCCISL Vice President, Dr. Rohitha Silva, together with SCCI EC members (Sri Lanka) / FCCISL leaders, had productive meetings with the Director of SAARC Cultural Centre, Professor (Mrs.) Prashanthi Narangoda, on 25th October and 30th November 2022 at the SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka. FCCISL President / SCCI EC member, Mr. Keerthi Gunawardane, FCCISL Past President / SCCI EC member, Dr. Tissa Jayaweera, and SCCI Sub Office (South) Associate Director, Mr. Tilan Wijesooriya also attended the meeting.

During the discussions, it was suggested to organize a 4-day event, the SAARC Tourism Forum, in Sri Lanka with a vision of promoting South Asian tourism via the region’s unique cultural heritage. It was discussed that the main purpose of the forum would be to deliberate on emerging challenges and opportunities in the post-pandemic world and to recommend a way forward framework for accelerating the growth of South Asian tourism. The 4-day SAARC Tourism Forum would consist of the Main Conference – SAARC Tourism Ministers’ Congress under the main thematic area and Sessions of Tourism Stakeholders under sub-thematic areas; Affiliated Events – SAARC Cultural Show, SAARC Fashion Show, Culinary Extravaganza, G2G Meetings, B2B Meetings, Stakeholder Meetings; and Parallel Events – SAARC Tourism Trade Fair and SAARC Food Festival concluded with a Cultural Tour in Sri Lanka’s historical places and natural wonders.

During the meeting, it was mentioned that owing to multifaceted factors such as the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, economic slowdown, security concerns and political instabilities in the region, the South Asian tourism sector had been struggling to flourish over the past few years. However, they further stated that the tourism industry generates employment opportunities, especially for youth and women, develops local infrastructure, contributes to conserving the natural environment, promotes traditions and cultural heritage, strengthens the local economy and enhances living standards reducing poverty and inequality. Considering these factors, they emphasized that the proposed 4-day SAARC Cultural Forum would indeed be instrumental in rejuvenating the South Asian tourism sector for the benefit of South Asian people.

Meeting with SAARC Cultural Centre | SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Group picture of Dr. Rohitha Silva, VP SCCI (Sri Lanka) and SCCI Executive Committee Members with Director of SAARC Cultural Centre, Professor (Mrs.) Prashanthi Narangoda