Contact Information: David Book Frode Hvattum Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce Tangalle Road, Hambantota dwbook@gmail.

com, Phone: 047 2220940/1 Fax: 047 2220488 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce in association with its partner, Manchester Enterprises conducts a Tourism workshop for the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.
This past weekend, 24 & 25 February 2006, the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) along with its partner the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) represented here by Manchester Enterprises (ME), an economic development agency, conducted a two-day workshop on tourism. Friday evening began with a welcome and introduction by Mr. Thassim of the HDCC, followed by a short talk on tourism by Professor Senarathna, the Vice Chancellor, of Ruhuna University. A brief overview of next day’s activities was presented by the chief organizers of the event, Mr. de Mel, chairperson of the tourism committee for the HDCC, Mr. Hvattum, consultant for HDCC and Ms Warburton from Manchester Enterprises. The primary aim of this workshop is to stimulate growth in the tourism sector for the Southern Province by engaging key stakeholders from the public and private agencies as well as international and local Non-government organizations. On Saturday, the day started with all the participants introducing themselves. Representatives from the Sri Lankan Tourism Board (SLTB), the Hambantota District Secretariat, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Hoteliers Association of South (HOSt), Ruhuna Tourism Board, member of the HDCC tourism committee, and The Hotel School were in attendance. NGO’s that participated included ASB, GTZ, MercyCorps, the Travel Foundation, the Sewalanka Foundation, VSO and ICEI. Attendees were broken into three groups to workshop the consequences of tourism development and the different roles and responsibilities. Mr. Hvattum outlined the current situation of tourism in the Hambantota District and Ms. Robinson of MercyCorps presented a case study on Arugam Bay. Before breaking for lunch, Ms. Warburton gave a presentation on the tourism potential of the UK market.

Tourism workshop for the Southern Province of Sri Lanka (cont.)
Participants were again broken into groups to identify areas for successful tourism development and to discuss the potential for partnership and initiatives to implement the results of their investigations. Mr. de Mel and Mr. Thassim summarized the outcomes of the day’s workshops and plans were made meet on a regular basis to insure the continuation of the collaborative partnerships that were put in place. It was evident, that at the end of the day that a number of synergistic relationships were initiated as a result of the day’s activities. For additional information or a copy of some of the studies that were conducted, please feel free to contact David Book or Frode Hvattum at the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce offices at Tangalle Road, Hambantota, phone number 047 2220940/1. The Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) was created in 1990 to support help support the economic development of the community and its members. The HDCC develops strategic partnerships with national and international organizations to provide funding, expertise and access to information. ###