Expanding its FAM Tour campaigns towards the Middle Eastern region, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka embassy in Egypt organized a familiarization tour for 8 Egyptian travel agents from October 20 to 26th. They were highly fascinated with their experience in Sri Lanka along with its scenic beauty, cultural splendor and also experienced the tantalizing taste of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.
This tour was highly recommended by the Sri Lanka embassy in Egypt, seeing the potential of attracting Middle Eastern travelers to the destination and its capacity as a possible source market. The purpose of the tour was to create awareness about the rising potential in Sri Lanka Tourism which will increase the urge of Egypt travel agents in organizing more tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka. The tour covered main tourist attractions, such as, Minneriya, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella and Beruwela . Complimentary service facilities for the tour were provided by the Mahaweli Reach Hotel Kandy, Anantara Hotel, Kalutara & Aitken Spence Travels. The scenic Nuwaraeliya and the Kosgoda turtle hatchery were two of the main attractions which the visitors were fascinated with.
Proceeding further, B2B sessions were held successfully after the tour with 8 Egyptian tour operators on October 25 at the Movenpick Hotel, Colombo and 50 members from the industry travel trade were given the opportunity to participate in these sessions. Both local and Egyptian travel agents were able to share their ideas and enquire about possible connectivity between the two destinations. Though Egypt at the moment is not a main source market, it can be highlighted as one of the potential markets which will be able to draw a large number of tourists to Sri Lanka, given the relevant promotion.
In addition, a discussion session was also organized for Egyptian tour operators with the Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando. Ambassador for Egypt in Sri Lanka was also invited to this discussion session. Chairman of SLTPB & the Managing Director of SLTPB participated in this event with officials of SLTPB. Important details, such as strategies on how to promote Sri Lankan tourism in Egypt and the holiday options which can be highlighted for Egyptian travelers, were further discussed. Total tourist arrivals from Egypt were recorded as 1810 up to September 2022, which can be further increased by creating more awareness about the destination among Egyptian travelers. (SLTPB)
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.
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.”
David Pieris Group imparts three-wheeler mechanic skills to 20 women in Jaffna
Producing skilled female labour and encouraging active participation of women in the economy of the Nation, the David Pieris Group successfully concluded another mechanical training programme in Jaffna recently.
The women who completed the programme titled ‘Empowering Women Through Technical Training’ received a NVQ (National Vocational Qualifications) Level 01 certificate and comprehensive 02 tool kits at the awards ceremony held at the North Gate Hotel, Jaffna on the 09th November 2022. 20 women from the Northern Province including the Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya Districts participated in this programme.
This programme, was initiated by the David Pieris Group in association with the Sri Lanka Women’s Bureau under the Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment in 2017 and is the first and only mechanic based technical Programme exclusively targeting women.
Speaking at the ceremony Samantha Silva, Chief Marketing Officer, David Pieris Motor Company (Pvt.) Ltd said; “This initiative will provide the technical training required to attend to any type of repair related to three-wheelers with the ultimate goal of creating trained, certified women mechanics, especially in the Northern Province which has an increased percentage of women led families and communities post three decades of civil war.”
The candidates for the programme were selected in collaboration with the DPMC Dealer network in the Northern Province. Upon completing the theory segment of the technical training, the candidates had the opportunity of attending to practical repair work at DPMC service dealers in their respective areas in order to gain necessary and valuable hands- on experience. At the conclusion of the programme subject to a final assessment, they were certified as mechanics.
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