Tuesday, 05 June 2018

The Pacific Asia Travel Association’s (PATA) Sri Lanka Chapterin association with Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL) has organized an awareness event titled ‘Discover the Unknown’on May 31, 2018 at Jetwing House II, Navam Mawatha, Colombo 02.

The event is being organized as a collaborative initiative to make known and promote lesser-known tourist destinations within the island, with a view to support the diversion of tourist pressure currently being faced by popular tourist destinations such as Yala, Ella and Unawatuna which have come under severe threat in terms of sustaining their inherent natural resources and valuable attractions due to uncontrolled numbers of tourists visiting these areas in high frequencies.

In order to ensure better conservation of Sri Lanka’s unique biodiversity, and a sustainable tourism industry, under the guidance of its Tourism and Hospitality Sector Standing Committee, Biodiversity Sri Lanka conducted a study on lesser-known, emerging natural destinations with high biodiversity value around the island, culminating in a report that is now being used as a tool to popularize alternative destinations which are equal or similar in nature with regard to its appeal and attraction, to these areas under threat.

With this objective in focus, session one of the event – ‘Emerging Destinations of Sri Lanka’ – was be led by Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya, Former Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Prof. Devaka Weerakoon from the University of Colombo. The second session – ‘Experience a Unique Colombo’ – was led by Nishantha Abeysekara, who will introduce unexplored facets of the city of Colombo which also holds a unique value in terms of its attractive culture, history and environment.

Pacific Asia Travel Association founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.

The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 25 international airlines and airports, 108 hospitality organisations, 72 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond.

Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 36 local PATA chapters worldwide.

Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL) is a national platform entirely owned and driven by the private sector, established to promote strong engagement of the corporate sector in biodiversity and environmental conservation in Sri Lanka.

BSL actively promotes strong leadership of the private sector in the areas of biodiversity and environmental conservation, through the provision of technical support, sharing of information, knowledge and experience, the promotion of best practices through active learning and understanding mechanisms and by initiating and facilitating dialogue between State and civil society partners and the private sector, advocating biodiversity-friendly policies and positive instruments that campaign for the conservation of Sri Lanka’s fragile environment.