Department of Marketing Management, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce Organized an interactive session on ‘Sustainability based Tourism Development Strategy’ under the Subject of MAR 4343 Sustainability Marketing with the Hotel and Tourism Industry. The purpose of the program was to provide final year students of the departments to experience the practice of theories and concepts leaned in the classroom.
The program was conducted at two phases: 26th February and 06th March 2020. The phase one of the program included visiting and engaging in discussions with six hotels in Habarana area that adopt sustainability initiatives namely Heritance Kandalama, Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana Village by Cinnamon, Aliya Resort & Spa and Jetwing Vil Uyana. During the visit, students were provided with an opportunity to learn the application of sustainability practices undertaken by the selected hotels.
By adopting student-centered teaching and learning practices, students engaged in interactive discussions with representatives of the selected hotels and experts from the industry during their field visit to learn the applicability of theories, concepts and models learned in the class room. To prepare students for the field visit, a workshop was conducted at the university on conducting background study of the selected companies, re-visiting theoretical frameworks relevant to field work and preparing interview guides.
The second stage of the program expected students to perform analysis of the data collected during the field visit and suggest strategies to further promote the sustainably based tourism practices of the selected hotels. It was evident during the evaluations that through a rigorous analysis, students discussed to what extent sustainability can be a source of competitive advantage for firms in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, given the challenges occurred in recent past both locally and globally.
The program was supported by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. The program set a flatform for enhancing the relationship between the university and the industry. The session was organized and coordinated by Prof (Mrs) D. S. R. Samarasinghe. A team of academics of the Department, namely, Dr. Lalith Chandrlal, Dr. Asoka Malkanthie, Dr. Dushan Jayawickrama, Mr. Aminda Lakmal, Mrs. Pavani Lakshika, Ms. Samudrika Rasanjaree and Mr. B T K Chathuranga participated in the program and evaluating students’ presentations. The program was funded by the ELTA/ELSE project of the Faculty.