Financial Times

Sri Lanka’s gift in song mesmerises world audience


The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ministers’ Summit, held during the World Travel Market (WTM) in London last week saw an exciting opening with, Sri Lanka Tourism contributing a song/DVD ‘A land like no other; A Tourism EarthLung’ – sung by Alston Koch.

Mr Koch, Tourism Ambassador for Sri Lanka, drew enthusiastic applause from delegates at the ministerial summit, and subsequent rendering, at the Virgin Airlines sponsored Responsible Tourism Awards Conference, Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) said in a press release.

The launch of the music DVD – ‘A land like no other; A Tourism EarthLung’ was in pursuant to the initiative taken in October 2007 when Sri Lanka’s: Tourism’s EarthLung, was introduced to the world, at the second world conference on ‘Climate Change and Tourism’ at Davos, Switzerland. The EarthLung programme seeks towards making Sri Lanka a carbon free destination by 2018. This ground-breaking idea was endorsed by the UNWTO as a way forward for tourism; it also has a strong appeal to travelers and particularly to those traveling to long haul destinations; in mitigating travel guilt. Sri Lanka’s work in conservation and environment conscience in other areas too were high lighted at the ministerial summit where Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda and Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Renton De Alwis presented Sri Lanka’s vision and efforts towards attaining carbon neutral status. us attention on the climate change issue and the need for all to take assertive action. We are nowhere near attaining this status, and all of Sri Lanka needs to work together to make it happen.

Our Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is committed to making sure that Sri Lanka is a green country and Sri Lanka Tourism is providing a further impetus to those efforts, “ the Tourism Minister said.

“ All sectors including education, forestry, wildlife conservation, tourism and the like, need to work closely together to make it happen and that is the only way forward we have. Mitigating Climate Change is today not a nice thing to do, but a matter of our very survival. Tourism that is so dependent on the natural and the socio-cultural environment need to be in the forefront working with conservationists and all citizens in achieving this,” he added.

‘A land like no other; A Tourism EarthLung’ the music DVD with song and lyrics by Mr Koch, focuses on Sri Lanka’s rich bio-diversity, the green positioning with a strong a call to action by all citizens of the earth to act now.

Among the many commendations the song received were those of the British State Minister of Tourism, Barbara Follet, who said, “This is one of the best songs I have heard this year and the visuals of Sri Lanka in the backdrop were beautiful.” Chairman, World Travel Market, Fiona Jeffery, said, “This is an emotional song and these highly inspiring words will help carry the Earth Lung initiative across the globe.”

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