The tourism industry's key awards presentation has increased the number of honours scheduled to be held in June this year involving a wide range of categories to accommodate the large and diverse sector.
At the fifth annual Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2011 the industry would recognize corporate and individual contributions towards generating a high yielding sector. Officials pointed out that the industry has faced a drop in arrivals last month, April, but noted it was due mainly to the off-peak season.
Some of the new awards presented this year would be: under the Unique Accommodation category the Other Unique Accommodation; Best Practices in Green Architecture; Best Theme Cuisine Restaurants; Best Authentic Sri Lankan Restaurants; Inbound Travel Agent in large medium and small categories; MICE Venue for Conference/Exhibition venue and Conference hotels or other venues; National Tourist Guide Lecturer in Nature and Wildlife, Culture and Heritage and Adventure categories; Chauffeur Tourist Guide Lecturer in the above categories and general; and as part of the Excellence in Service Pastry Chef of the year; Restaurant Manager of the Year and Hotel Employee of the Year; the Best Tourism Website for Domestic tourism; under Education and Training a new segment of large, medium and small categories.
Tourist Hotels Association President Anura Lokuhetty said the tourists' spend per day on average had increased and noted there were better quality tourists visiting the island nation. The tourism awards will be presented to the top 68 best performers in the industry within 11 categories with 21 new recognitions introduced this year, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director Product Development and Events Upali De Silva said.
The industry would also be recognizing the electronic media programmes and news segments on travel and tourism, print media presentations and articles and the 'Foreign Journalist Promoting Sri Lanka Tourism'. Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa responding to questions posed by the media said at present the new Act would be presented to Parliament once they have completed the necessary formalities as it is being perused by the Legal Draftsman.
Commenting on the promotion campaigns he said they were still conducting discussions on the subject.
He also noted that they were on target in achieving the number of rooms and was "confident of getting ahead."