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Sri Lanka Tourism Expo 2021 now on at One Galle Face Mall

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The Sri Lanka Tourism Expo (SLTE) 2021 opened at the One Galle Face Mall and will continue until Sunday 21st November.

Organised by the Alumni Association of Tourism Economics and Hospitality Management (AATEHM), and the Tourism Study Programs of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo as the Strategic Knowledge Partner, the SLTE-21 partners with One Galle Face Mall and runs parallel to the celebration of UN-WTO World Tourism Day 2021.

The primary objective of the SLTE-2021 is to create a strong platform for tourism stakeholders to get together to synergize collective solutions to uplift the industry despite the downfall caused by the pandemic to the tourism industry.

“We are delighted to team up with the key stakeholders in the tourism industry and One Galle Face, in organising a series of events planned for industry professionals”, said Prof. Suranga Silva of the University of Colombo

In line with the theme of “Way forward Sri Lanka Tourism: Be Resilient and Sustainable”, Travel Shows, extended Industry-Policy Dialogue Forums and Culinary Fests will be held as some of the prominent events which will showcase the potential of Sri Lanka Tourism, sharing opportunities and providing a platform for attendees to make inroads to recovery and resilience building while capturing the growing tourism market trends in post-COVID global tourism.

The Travel Fair kicked off 15 November and features over 50 stakeholders from the hospitality industry, showcasing their offerings. The Fair will be open to the public until 18th November from 11.00 am to 9.00 pm on all days.

The discussion forums will also take place simultaneously from 6.30 p.m. onwards, touching on topics such as survival, recovery, innovative business development, competitiveness and the way forward. All of these are key areas for the tourism industry to be resilient in the face of adversity in order to be sustainable. The sessions will be highly interactive with a wide cross section of industry experts actively sharing valuable insights across multiple domains.

In addition to networking events, there will be a host of interactive programmes such as live cooking competitions, cocktail and mocktail competitions by industry professionals and cake decorating and cake structure competitions by professionals which will be conducted from 19th to 21st November.

All of these are free of charge and open to the public at the One Galle Face Mall, the venue partner.

As a build up to the SLTE-2021, the International Tourism Research Conference was held on 22 October and the International Tourism Leaders’ Summit was held on 27th September, both of which were virtual events and hosted by the Department of Economics, University of Colombo.



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Passport Office collaborates with banks to boost international monetary transfers from migrants

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Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal hands over a new account to a young migrant worker which he opened at the new HNB counter at the Passport Office yesterday, where Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of HNB was present. Pic by Thushara Athapaththu

by Sanath Nanayakkare

People’s Bank, National Savings Bank , Sampath Bank, Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka yesterday established new banking counters at the Department of Immigration and Emigration, at ‘Suhurupaya’, Battaramulla.

The initiative is intended support the Central Bank’s ongoing effort to boost the country’s foreign reserves by offering migrant workers access for safe, official remittance channels from the time they obtain new passports or renew their passports for international jobs.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka who was the chief guest of the opening ceremony said,” A lot of Sri Lankans go overseas for jobs and send their hard-earned money to Sri Lanka. Sometimes they face various issues when remitting money. So we thought we should provide the opportunity for them to open an account as they obtain their passports at the passport office which they can operate with greater ease and trust when sending money to their families from abroad. The Controller of Immigration and Emigration, his staff, the officials at the Central Bank and at other relevant banks worked in unison to establish their counters here just within a week. This shows that government institutions can collaborate with the private sector and quickly accomplish any task for the benefit of the country and its people. Our hard-working migrant workforce will enjoy the convenience and reliability of this service. As a result of it, more foreign money will flow into the country and the nation will reap benefits from it,” he said.

Workers’ remittances have been a key pillar of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency earnings that has nearly 100 per cent of domestic value addition, providing a substantial cushion for external sector resilience of the country. Workers’ remittances have covered around 80 per cent of the annual trade deficit over the past two decades, and strengthening remittances inflows to the country brings several socio-economic benefits including the smooth supply of forex inflows to the formal banking system.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka established a new department named ‘Foreign Remittances Facilitation Department’ with effect from November 3, 2021 to facilitate and streamline workers’ remittances inflows to the country.

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SLT-MOBITEL powered SLIOT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020 fostering innovation

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider was the proud sponsor of SLIoT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020, championing innovation in Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics to reward and further develop a pipeline of tech talent and critical skills among Sri Lanka’s youth. The winners of the competitions were honoured at a special ceremony held recently.

SLIoT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020 was a collaborative effort between SLT-MOBITEL, the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Moratuwa and the IT and Computer Engineering Sectional Committee of Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka (IESL). Recognising the value of promoting digital inclusion among youth and to develop new generation technology concepts, SLT-MOBITEL sponsored the event for the fourth consecutive year. Both competitions encourage technological innovation among youth which in turn provides avenues for SLT-MOBITEL to capitalize on its futuristic thinking towards a connected future.

The SLIoT Challenge 2020 theme centred around the current pandemic ‘Overcoming COVID-19 with IoT’ and over 77 submissions were received. SLT-MOBITEL comprehends that IoT is being widely embraced with the number of connected devices growing rapidly. SLT-MOBITEL recognizes that driving an IoT competition for Sri Lankan youth allows students to unleash their potential in the IoT domain and acts as a gateway to support the country’s evolution towards digital transformation.

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Akshata launches unique new tea blends

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Akshata brand, a pioneer in promoting health and wellness the traditional way presents herbal tea alongside honey/jaggery as an alternative to sugar, redefining tea consumption.

Akshata ‘Ranawara’ herbal tea which promotes clear skin and health benefits for the body is dedicated to Queen Soma Devi who was acclaimed for her beauty, bravery, and sacrifice to save King Valagamba in 77 BC.

Managing Director of Grains N Green, Roshan Perera says, “In addition to the myriad of health benefits, consumers are encouraged to experience a taste of nostalgia with each sip of Akshata herbal tea. Today’s health-conscious consumers increasingly buy items that support their nutrition and fitness. Sugar is no longer included in this list due to its negative impact on one’s health. That’s why we have introduced healthy alternatives for sugar. Putting honey or jaggery in tea is a much healthier choice than using sugar as it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly, and with our product you can get the tea as well as

the sweeteners all in one pack. This saves time, money, and is a healthier alternative to drinking tea with sugar.”

Akshata herbal tea with bees honey/Jaggery is available at Spar and Glomark supermarkets and can also purchase online at askshatastore.com

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