Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has celebrated World Tourism Day on 27th September. This date was chosen as the statutes of the UNWTO were adopted on that day in 1970. The adoption of these statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
This year the Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers (SLINTGL) organised a free city tour of Colombo on an open-deck double-decker bus, followed by a press conference. The bus started its journey at the Kingsbury Hotel in the heart of Colombo. After covering the main highlights of the city, it reached its final destination – Independence Square, where the treaty that declared Sri Lanka’s independence from the British Empire was signed on 4th February 1948. When the bus arrived at Independence Square, the group was welcomed with a cultural performance. Addressing the gathering, SLINTGL President Mr. Manoj Maddage explained what should be the future aims of tourism in Sri Lanka, based on this year’s theme of Rethinking Tourism.