‘Formal recognition of Excellence in Ecotourism Industry in Sri LankaView(s):
Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF) was awarded as the ‘Best Initiative for Ecotourism Research, Training and Education in Sri Lanka’ at the 5th Annual Sri Lanka Tourism Awards. ‘Best Model Community Based Tourism Project in Sri Lanka’ Award bagged by Walawa Nadee Ecotourism Organization, Ambalantota (WNEO).
SLEF has been actively contributing to the development of ecotourism in Sri Lanka for last 14 years. Palitha Gurusinghe is the founder President of Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF), the pioneer ‘National Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka’ that was established in 1998. During past fourteen years SLEF pioneered in promoting Community Based Ecotourism in Sri Lanka and worked hand in hand with other like-minded organizations in Sri Lanka, South and South East Asia, Asia-Pacific Region, in promoting Community Based Tourism Projects and poverty alleviation programmes through tourism. SLEF has also introduced the Concepts of ‘Community Ecolodges’ and ‘Community Camping’ to Sri Lanka Tourism.
These programmes were initiated to promote community tourism and uplifting of the life-styles of the poor communities in tourism generating areas in Sri Lanka. Community Camping and Community Ecolodges are the vital tools to ensure tangible alternative income to the communities through tourism.‘These important awards would certainly contribute Sri Lanka Tourism in positioning Sri Lanka as an Ecotourism Destination in the Asia-Pacific Region. At the same time, these achievements would certainly help SLEF to extend further support the poor communities living around the tourism generating areas of Sri Lanka in sharing the tourism income’ said Palitha Gurusinghe, the President of SLEF.
The Concepts developed and the activities initiated and implemented in Ecotourism by SLEF would go a long way in supporting Sri Lanka tourism, as Eco based tourists are higher spenders than ‘ordinary’ mass tourists. Over the past years and to the date, SLEF has been dedicated to promote Community Based Ecotourism Enterprises (CBEs) wuch as Walaw Nadee Ecotourism Organization, in various areas in Sri Lanka to ensure the community gets a tangible share of tourism income, alleviating poverty in tourism generating areas and thereby encouraging the community to support environmental and biodiversity conservation.
During past years SLEF has pioneered in popularizing Ecotourism Education, Training and Researches among the Community, Travel Agents, Tourism Marketing/Planning Executives and decision makers, Adventure and Nature based Tour Operators, University Students, teachers, Researchers, Practicing National Tourist Guide Lecturers, Hotels, Guest Houses, Restaurants, Ecolodge owners and Camping Operators, Travel Journalists in Electronic and Print media.
SLEF has just completed an Ecotourism Business Development Certificate Programme (EBD) which was started in June, 2012. (see more info at www.ecotourismsrilanka.net) Walawa Nadee Ecotourism Organization, Ambalantota, is supported by Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF).
Further information log on to www.ecotourismsrilanka.net
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