The Presidential Award winner with passion for his work
When Ravindra Palagolla was announced Best Chauffer Guide at the inaugural Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism Excellence 2007, it was a fitting tribute to one of Sri Lanka’s most respected and sought-after guides.
Ravindra has made traveling throughout Sri Lanka a memorable experience for thousands of tourists over the years. An engaging and amiable man, Ravindra’s passion for the island is rivaled by his love of sharing this passion.
‘For me, every client is a VIP,’ he explains. ‘I try to make everyone feel special and do my best to show them Sri Lanka in all its glory.’
With a formidable knowledge on herbal medicine, archaeology and Buddhism, Ravindra loves educating people when guiding them through the country. He also loves educating himself, relishing the opportunity to read whenever he has spare time.
‘One can never know enough,’ he enthuses. ‘Clients have far more information available to them than they once used to as a result of the internet. This motivates me to keep training myself!’
During the off-season, Aitken Spence guides use the quiet season for professional development. Ravindra, for one, is already looking forward to a forthcoming training programme on nature, an opportunity for all guides to learn more about Sri Lanka’s natural environment.
Although Ravinda’s wealth of experience has made him an authority in many fields, his favorite subject is Buddhism. He enjoys philosophical debate on the matter and his ongoing study into the principles of Buddhist meditation has impressed many people. His effective skills at communicating these principles to people previously unfamiliar with Buddhism have inspired numerous clients to ask him which books they should read to learn more.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, Ravindra’s favorite part of Sri Lanka is the cultural triangle. Especially Sigiriyia Rock.
‘This is such a special place for me, as a guide and as a Sri Lankan. It amazes most of my clients and continues to amaze me. It is a true wonder of the world.’
For those who have received the benefits of his wisdom, Ravindra is a true wonder himself.
2008 – Ace Magazine Issue 1