The Aitken Spence was the most awarded group, bagging five accolades at the inaugural Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism Excellence 2007 held at the Presidential Secretariat.
Aitken Spence won the two main travel awards with Aitken Spence Travels winning Best Destination Management Company and Aitken Spence Conventions & Exhibitions winning the best Professional Conference Organization (PCO) competing with all other major industry operators. Mr Ravindra Palagolla of Aitken Spence Travels won the award for the Best Chauffer Guide.
Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel, Heritance Kandalama was awarded the Presidential Award for Best 5-Star Resort while Skills Development Chef of the Aitken Spence Group, Dimuthu Kumarasinghe won the award for the Best Chef.
“This is yet another testament of our continued commitment to innovation and standards within our hotels and promoting Sri Lanka Tourism. Dimuthu’s achievement further testifies our investment in people and training. This recognition will further our commitment to positioning Sri Lanka as a world tourist destination”, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels, Malin Hapugoda said.
Gehan M. Perera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels and Aitken Spence Conventions & Exhibitions upon receiving the awards said, “This is a great honour and tribute to our dedicated staff who work round the clock to make holidays very special for our guests and meticulously organize Conferences & Exhibitions. Our investment in technology, training and development of staff is a testament to this award. Our team has been innovative and has confidently handled the past years when tourism took a down turn; rising above the situation opening new markets and stimulating different channels in existing markets to keep the Sri Lanka Tourism flag flying high.”
The Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism Excellence was inaugurated by the Ministry of Tourism to foster competitiveness and uplift the standards of the local tourism and travel industry. The hotel was selected by an eminent panel of judges based on a comprehensive evaluation criterion comprising revenue generation, innovation, social, cultural, environmental and economic best practices, as well as its contribution as a role model for tourism excellence.
About Aitken Spence Travels
Aitken Spence Travels is the largest tour operator in the country representing over 200 international tour operators and is the only Sri Lankan Destination Management company equipped with the ISO 9001:2000 certification. A joint venture between Aitken Spence Plc and the world’s largest integrated tourism company TUI Travel Plc, has in its existence of over three decades actively contributed towards uplifting the industry. It has participated in the establishment of the new Tourism Law which enables private sector participation in promoting Sri Lanka effectively. The company has also shared its proprietary IT system iTOS which manages tour operations in a professional manner by linking customers with suppliers and services.
About Aitken Spence Conventions & Exhibitions
Aitken Spence Conventions & Exhibitions is the leading Professional Conference and Exhibition Management Company in Sri Lanka having coordinated many of the international events to be held in the country such as the International Congress on Aids in Asia Pacific (ICAAP), the South Asia Broadband Conference and the launch of Microsoft Vista.
About Ravindra Palagolla
Mr. Palagolla is a highly trained and experienced chauffer guide, who enriches the travel experience by his wealth of knowledge on Sri Lanka’s history, culture, art and local customs. His proficiency of ancient Sri Lankan culture, Buddhism, ayurvedic medicine and several forms of native medicine has surprised his guests, and at times, the management of Aitken Spence Travels. Of all his talents, perhaps the most impressive is his ongoing study of the principles of Buddhist meditation, which he has very effectively translated into his profession – drawing both the respect of his guests (some of whom are of senior academic background), his colleagues, and the accolades of the wider industry.
About Heritance Kandalama
Heritance Kandalama has positioned