Webinars for Travel Professionals on Sustainable Niche Tourism

Afua Owusu
March 19, 2024

Over the past eight years, IDG has been a dedicated advocate for Sri Lanka’s flourishing tourism sector, implementing collaborative projects with private and public sectors to promote sustainable practices.

In this blog post, we will delve into our recent endeavors, including a comprehensive two-day webinar designed for seasoned travel professionals. The webinar, featuring esteemed speakers Miguel Cunat and Chalana Perera, addresses pressing topics in the tourism sector, from designing itineraries for modern travelers to meeting market demands through sustainable practices.

Learn more about how IDG is supporting the charge towards a more sustainable and inclusive tourism landscape in Sri Lanka.

Empowering Sustainable Tourism through USAID Indo-Pacific Opportunity Project

Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Indo-Pacific Opportunity Project (IPOP) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Assistance (SLTDA) Activity, we engaged micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism sector. This initiative included outreach to over 600 small businesses and the delivery of more than 5,000 hours of training designed for niche tourism enterprises. These efforts aimed to help these businesses integrate sustainability practices into their operations effectively. Additionally, a core focus of our work has been the development of a framework for sustainable tourism and promoting women’s participation and representation in the industry.

Beyond Tick-Box Travel—How to Design Better Itineraries for Modern Travellers

Miguel Cunat, a senior tourism consultant, entrepreneur, and Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist, emphasizes that designing travel impacts everyone—whether you’re a chef, travel planner, or guide, you’re involved in creating experiences. This webinar isn’t about itinerary planning; it’s about how industry professionals can steer Sri Lanka’s tourism industry towards sustainable outcomes. Cunat’s expertise in strategy, product development, sustainability, and uncovering untapped possibilities within tourism shapes this webinar, making it essential viewing for development professionals.

Walking the Talk—Meeting Market Demand through Sustainable Tourism Practices.

The webinar targets Sri Lankan tourism operators specifically those operating within the country. It emphasizes adopting a sustainable mindset, offers practical sustainability tips for tourism businesses, explores strategies to avoid greenwashing, and introduces the concept of regenerative travel.

Chalana Perea, an independent hospitality and tourism consultant in Sri Lanka, collaborates with hospitality property owners, investors, developers, and public policy stakeholders in tourism. His specialties include regenerative tourism, investment advisory, asset management, and repositioning tourism products. Perea’s insights, centered on innovative thinking and aligning people, planet, purpose, and profit, provide valuable guidance for development professionals to apply to their ongoing projects.

The event was facilitated by Michelle Pinkowski, IPOP SLTDA Project Director. The SLTDA Activity assists SLTDA and the Ministry of Tourism in streamlining and implementing new policies and procedures to enable the fast-tracking and attraction of Foreign Direct Investment in the tourism sector. In consultation with SLTDA, IPOP provides selected technical support for potential areas of growth for MSMEs, including technical support for a sustainability framework and sustainability certification, identification and promotion of new ‘niche’ tourism products, and support for the development of a Sri Lankan’ Land Bank,’ which seeks to map, record, catalog, and publish Sri Lankan Government land available for FDI in the tourism sector.


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