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(UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili with Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga at the UNWTO General Assembly held in Russia)

Sri Lanka has been appointed as one of the two Vice Chairpersons for South Asia Commission of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the period 2019 to 2021. Sri Lanka has also been concurrently elected as the Representative of the Commission on UNWTO’s Programme and Budget Committee for the period 2019 to 2023.

This was officially communicated to Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga by UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili last week. 

“I have the honour to convey to you my warmest congratulations on the confidence that the Member States of the Commission for South Asia have placed in Sri Lanka to serve as one of the two Vice Chairpersons of the Commission from 2019 to 2021. I also wish to congratulate you on Sri Lanka’s election as the Representative of the Commission on UNWTO’s Programme and Budget Committee for the period 2019 to 2023,” states UNWTO Secretary General in his congratulatory letter to Minister Amaratunga.

Responding to the news Minister John Amaratunga stated that Sri Lanka is now an important player in the global tourism arena and these appointments will help the country to further consolidate this position.“These important appointments show the recognition that Sri Lanka has gained as a global tourism destination in the last couple of years. It will help Sri Lanka to contribute to the world tourism agenda in a meaningful way and further consolidate its position as a top player in the international arena. It is indeed an honour for me personally and Sri Lanka Tourism which has successfully overcome all challenges that have come its way in the recent past,” said Minister Amaratunga. 

The election for posts took place during the 57th meeting of the Commission in Thimpu, Bhutan in June this year and was ratified at the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly held in St. Petersburg, Russia last month. Minister Amaratunga represented Sri Lanka at this General Assembly.

“I’m confident that by holding these key positions in the subsidiary organs of the organisation, Sri Lanka will greatly contribute to the achievement of UNWTO’s priorities and implementation of the program of work for the  region and the organisation as a whole,” observed Zurab Pololikashvili in his letter sent last week.

Minister Amaratunga previously served as Vice Chair of the UNWTO Committee on South Asia during the period 2017 to 2019 September

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