Recognising the need to uplift Sri Lanka’s travel industry in the wake of the Easter day incident, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is set to host the third edition of the ‘Future of Tourism Summit’ (FOT 2019) on September 23 at Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Sri Lanka. Running under the theme ‘Challenges and Growth in the Face of a Crisis’, this year’s event will bring together top global destination experts who will share their specialist knowledge and insights on how tourism industries can implement sustainable strategies in the long-run and recover and rebuild following a variety of incidents ranging from terror attacks to natural disasters. With tourism often contributing substantially to economic growth of different nations, it is imperative that travel brands and industry professionals alike have the tools and know-how needed to respond to and recover after a period of crisis.
This year’s FOT 2019 summit will feature an exclusive line-up of speakers and in-depth talks with top destination marketers and travel industry professionals. The summit will kick-off with a special discussion with Richard Quest, CNN correspondent and host of Quest Means Business, who will talk about the future of tourism locally and globally, followed by the keynote speaker of FOT 2019, Anita Mendiratta, special advisor to the secretary general, UNWTO, who will explore the topic ‘Rising Above – Emerging Stronger Through Crisis’. The summit will have its first group talk on ‘Facing a Crisis’ with Puneet Chhatwal, MD and CEO of Taj Hotels, TATA Group and Dileep Mudadeniya, VP, John Keells Group, head of brand marketing, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and CEO Cinnamon Life Mall, moderated by Damian Cook, CEO, E-Tourism Frontiers.
The summit will also feature Michael Yam (CEO and managing director of Impetus Alliance; Vesta Ratkeviciute, sr. regional communications & marketing consultant – Southeast Asia Euromonitor International; Ashish Hemrajani, founder and CEO, Book My Show, and Zubin Karkaria, CEO of Kuoni, who will share their insights and industry experience in handling unforeseen challenges and rebuilding business operations. The group talk will focus on hospitality best practices, implementing a winning destination campaign and a recovery marketing plan with reference to case-studies from Kenya, Bali and Taj Hotels.
An investor forum discussion will be conducted consisting of a panel of Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor Hotel Group; Malik Fernando MD, Resplendent Ceylon; Krishan Balendra, chairman, John Keells Holdings, and Shiromal Cooray, chairman, Jetwing Hotels which will be moderated by Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO, JB Securities.
Commenting on the FOT Summit 2019, Mudadeniya said, ‘’As pioneers of this innovative industry event, Cinnamon Hotel & Resorts constantly strive to spearhead local and regional industry growth and progress. Developing a strong recovery strategy, strengthening our ability to address a crisis and act on it effectively and taking all the vibrancy and diversity that our nation has to offer as a destination, to the world are all key priorities in the coming months. This event will provide industry professionals and those who are passionate about business, the tools, tips, insights and understanding that they need to take our tourism industry forward, keeping sustainability in mind. We are a resilient nation and a country that has the ability to unite and come together to achieve positive change. The support for Sri Lanka in the global industry has been a powerful reminder of how well-loved our country and our people are, and we are well-positioned to rise up and build up.”
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts marked its first-ever ‘Future of Tourism’ Summit in 2015 to commemorate ‘World Tourism Day and featured global experts exploring future tourism trends.