The Alumni Association of Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management (AATEHM) and the students of Tourism Study Programme, Department of Economics, University of Colombo will hold the First International Buddhist Tourism Conference tomorrow (October 2nd), under the theme 'A Simple Life and Middle Path for Responsible Religious Tourism Development' at Ridee Viharaya in Kurunegala.
According to Dr. Saranga Silva, Coordinator of the Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management Course, the objective of the summit is to explore strategies to promote Buddhist Tourism in Sri Lanka as one of the most sought-after Buddhist tourist destinations in the world.
Addressing the Media persons at the Auditorium of the Department of Government Information this morning, Dr. Silva said that the summit will also provide an opportunity to the industry stakeholders to explore the Best Buddhist Tourism Practices of other Buddhist tourist destinations in the world.
The most suitable strategies and ways to promote a more inclusive, socio-culturally and environmentally responsible Buddhist tourism development in Sri Lanka will also be explored as an outcome of this summit.
The summit is organised by the Tourism Study Programmes of the Department of Economics, University of Colombo partnering with Ridee Viharaya in Kurunegala, with the support of the Tourism Development Authority, Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Ministry, Buddha Sasana Ministry and other stakeholders of the industry. The Conference will be participated by Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Minister John Amaratunga, Buddha Sasana Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and other Sri Lankan and international dignitaries and invitees.
The keynote speaker of the First Buddhist Tourism Summit will be Audrey E. Kitagawa, the Chair-Elect of the Parliament of the World's Religions and current Trustee and Chair of the Programmatic Area Committee and the United Nations Task Force of Parliament.
Furthermore, industry experts and scholars representing India, USA, Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Italy, Australia, Nepal, Cambodia and Thailand will also participate.The tourism students of Postgraduates/Masters and Diploma Programmes are also expected to introduce several attractive destination packages and Buddhist tourism trails with information of Buddhist tourist sites in Sri Lankan. They will also be provided opportunities to introduce their creative packages. Concurrently, the First International Buddhist Tourism Centre (IBTC) will be established at Ridee Vihara with the blessing of Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Buddharakkitha Thera, Chief Incumbent, Ridee Vihara in Sri Lanka.