Archive | October, 2014

Aitken Spence Travels, Sri Lanka’s only Destination Management Company to be awarded a prestigious Gold Award at PATA

7 Oct
The award was presented by Susana Alexandre Ferreira Pereira de Campos Esmeriz and CEO of PATA Martin J Craigs to Nalin Jaysundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels

The award was presented by Susana Alexandre Ferreira Pereira de Campos Esmeriz and CEO of PATA Martin J Craigs to Nalin Jaysundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels

Aitken Spence Travels, Sri Lanka’s largest Destination Management Company was the only DMC in Sri Lanka to be awarded a prestigious Gold Award at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards 2014 ceremony, for its innovative ecotourism concept – ‘Elpitiya Plantations Excursions’ in the Environment category.

The award was presented by Susana Alexandre Ferreira Pereira de Campos Esmeriz and CEO of PATA Martin J Craigs to Nalin Jaysundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels at the Diamond Island City Hall in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Aitken Spence Travels was identified from amongst 181 entries from 66 organisations and individuals worldwide; with awards being presented to outstanding entries in four principal categories of Marketing; Education and Training; Environment; and Heritage and Culture.

Achieving the PATA Gold award is in line with the numerous innovative sustainable service development programs continuously being introduced by Aitken Spence Travels for all its customers. The Company hopes to integrate further distinctive ecotourism projects in the future to their current diverse service portfolio.

“As the only Sri Lankan Destination Management Company to receive the Gold award, we are honored and pleased to have been a recipient at PATA. Aitken Spence Travels continues to ingrain sustainable practices to all our operations and set benchmarks for the travel industry. The award will inspire us to continue with such efforts” noted Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

The management of Elpitiya Plantations worked very closely with Aitkens Spence Travels to develop this award winning excursion to offer the traveller a memorable experience with its incorporation of activities involving local culture and environment; with the results benefiting all segments of stakeholders, due to the healthy interactions between the traveller and the locals.

Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), noted the following on the winners, “Hats off to all PATA Gold Award 2014 winners! Your outstanding achievements are a breath of fresh air to the rest of the region, broadening our horizons and inspiring us to aim high, not merely on our respective destinations, but collectively as a region.”

With a significant presence in Maldives and fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism, Aitken Spence Travels is the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka. Partnered with the world’s largest name in travel, TUI Travel Plc, and with nearly four decades of experience, the Company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the industry. With the commitment towards offering sustainable tourism, Aitken Spence Travels is endowed the Carbon Neutral status by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund and maintains ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2004 certifications.

Investing in Sri Lanka’s Future – Empowering Sri Lanka First (ESLF)

6 Oct

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students”

Solomon Ortiz


Aitken Spence PLC launched ‘Empowering Sri Lanka First,’ (ESLF) an English and Computer literacy teaching programme for children as its flagship corporate community engagement initiative. The programme currently benefiting students in Dambulla, Ahungalla and Mawaramandiya is aimed at providing opportunity to children of rural communities in order to be literate in English language and Computer knowledge as means of improving their soft skills and enhancing employability. The Company’s unique model enrolls students for a three-year programme and is conducted weekly at each locality.

The teachers of ESLF plays a pivotal role in making the platform a success. Specifically handpicked from the same communities, the ESLF teachers are trained systematically by the globally recognized institute British Council for its English programme and by Foundation of Goodness for the Computer literacy programme.

In order to deliver a unique experience to the children, 180 hours of ‘train the trainer’ programmes are conducted for the English teachers by qualified trainers from British Council. These sessions, comprise of a strategic approach to teaching to increase the effectiveness of the teaching resources. The syllabus combined with accompanying teaching material is delivered through several unique approaches including role-play, singing and interactive word games – offering a fun way to learn English as a language.

A 2-day training session on Computer literacy is conducted by Foundation of Goodness for the selected teachers from each local community, which comprise of lecture schedules, new teaching methods and monitoring and evaluation.

“ESLF teachers are essential in shaping the minds of our children. They dedicate their time and energy to providing students with the knowledge, skills, confidence and sense of community the children will require to succeed. Aitken Spence PLC places importance in investing in our ESLF teachers because we believe they are the key enablers to inspire the true potential of our students, thereby contributing to the sustainable development of the communities in which we operate” said Rohan Pandithakorralage, Director and Chief Human Resources Officer of Aitken Spence Group Ltd.

Aitken Spence plans is to expand the programme to additional local communities within a few years with the support of the Company’s long standing international and local partners.

Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. In Sri Lanka, it is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

World Teachers’ Day commemorate every year on the 5th of October will be celebrated on the theme “Invest in the Future, Invest in Teachers” for World Teachers’ Day 2014. A UNESCO initiative – the day recognizes the crucial role the teaching profession plays in the life of a healthy society.