Colombo, Sri Lanka:
As the world’s most reputed organisation for recommending and awarding bodies that are related to travel and hospitality, the World Travel Awards committee considers destinations for their high-quality service and awards them the World Travel Award as an inspiration to similar organizations. Every year World Travel Awards are held regionally in different parts of the globe to award destinations that are deemed globally recognised for their impeccable service. Blue Lanka Tours has had the privilege of receiving the World Travel Award in 2020 and 2022 as Sri Lanka’s leading Tour Operator.
Since 2019, the tourism sector in Sri Lanka has been through a trying time due to the adversities Sri Lanka faced. Albeit desperate hope, with 2022 dawned the severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Blue Lanka Tours, amidst all these challenges, strived to offer the best customer service and make the Sri Lankan holiday of their clients a dream come true. It was the hard work, perseverance and absolute determination of humble travel professionals who earned these major achievements. Blue Lanka Tours wishes to express their gratitude to their loyal clients who trusted the organisation during the challenging times.
The commitment of the Blue Lanka Tours team also led to the achievement of TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award for 2022, with an impeccable record of 1900 reviews on TripAdvisor and a consistent rating of being #1 Tour Operator for over a decade on the same platform. Blue Lanka Tours continue to reach new heights with their incredible service surpassing other tour operators in Sri Lanka.
Dinesh Perera, CEO of Blue Lanka Tours gratefully expressed that it is an honour and a humbling experience to win the World Travel Awards yet again. He further stated, “Blue Lanka Tours as a team has received multiple world-renowned tourism accolades over the last decade or so, and I must say it’s a reflection of the team’s persistent and rigorous effort to give customer service while producing the wow factor from top to bottom.”
“I would like to thank the entire World Travel Awards team and the panel members for recognizing Blue Lanka Tours’ hard work over the past year and honouring us with this wonderful accolade. When it comes to offering our services to tourists, the culture that we have developed inside the team and across the stakeholders is extremely valued, and that is the secret behind Blue Lanka Tours to win globally with many recognitions and awards. I would like to thank my entire staff as well as all stakeholders for their assistance in maintaining our reputation as one of the greatest travel and tourism customer care businesses in Sri Lanka”
With a persistent “can do” and “never give up” attitude, Blue Lanka Tours has been successful in achieving great heights. With the recognition gained through the award, Blue Lanka Tours is committed to upscale their services and provide the best comforts to their clients to feel as if they are home away from home.
Tea industry targets USD 1.2 bn export turnover in 2023
Sri Lanka will earn around USD 1.2 billion from tea exports for 2023 exporting around 260 million Kg, said Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, (SLTB) Niraj de Mel, last week.
SLTB is forecasting a modest growth for 2023 in comparison to the current year estimating an increased production of 290 million Kgs with export revenues expected to increase to USD 1.4 billion. Due to the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, during the first half of the year and a shortage of tea, sales caught up and auction prices increased sharply from March 2022. Despite fuel shortages and logistic issues, the Regional Plantation Companies and smallholders have been able to continue the harvesting of green leaf throughout the year. When compared to 2020 and 2021 volumes, the Green Leaf price to smallholders has increased exponentially from July 2022 onwards.
“The tea smallholder who used to get around Rs. 90 per kg three years ago is now getting around Rs. 250 per kg and some estates have paid nearly Rs. 1,000 per kg. He said that though the glyphosate fertiliser ban is lifted planters should not use it heavily as a ‘global ban of glyphosate’ is imminent for the tea industry. Some countries like Taiwan already reject tea grown with the use of glyphosate.” He recalled that tea production reached an all time high with a record of 340 million Kgs in 2013. “After short increases during the period 2017 to 2019, tea production recorded a decrease in 2020, mainly due to the fallout from the pandemic and now we are taking several steps to increase production.”
The Tea board is offering a host of financial grants and loans to the tea growers, factories as well as for exporters. “These include subsidies for replanting, fertiliser for growers, special grants and loans for factories to upgrade their machinery and soft loans for exporters for packaging. These facilities exceed Rs. 4 billion per year.”
Tea Commissioner E. Edirisinghe said that they would also provide Rs. I million for tea factory expansion which comes as a grant. “In addition, we pay 3% of the capital when factories install solar,” he said.
Harin urges for ‘breathing space’ to revive tourism
Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando said on Saturday that persistent political agitations make his job of promoting Sri Lanka as a safe and convenient tourist destination extremely difficult.
“Now the country has restarted to function although not at a comfortable level to everyone. People undergo many economic difficulties due to high cost of living. These issues need to be addressed and resolved one by one. Creating troubles constantly in a highly political way won’t help the country to come out of the crisis. It will only prolong the crisis.
As Minister of Tourism, I have a hard time promoting tourism in Sri Lanka because it is no easy task to convince potential overseas visitors that the situation is back to normal. So, I appeal to these parties to allow at least six months for the country resuscitate whose breathing had stopped for some time,” he said.
UTECH Technologies recognised at Sahasak Nimavum Innovation Awards
UTECH Technologies (Pvt) Limited, Sri Lanka’s leading Industry 4.0 transformation solutions provider won the most prestigious innovation award, the DASIS award at the Sahasak Nimavum National Innovation Awards held recently. The DASIS Award is judged across all competing categories and only awarded to the innovation that shows novelty in technology and has been commercialized successfully. This award is judged by a learned panel of national and international judges including academia and industry experts. UTECH also won overall gold for best commercialized ICT innovation. UTECH has won many national and international awards, including the overall gold for “IoT technology of the year” at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) in 2021.
UTECH’s Managing Director, Riyad Ismail said, “Having many Sri Lankan industrial conglomerates as our clients, we have started exporting our hardware and software solutions to world markets.”
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