Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association hosts forum to facilitate industry
Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association hosts forum to facilitate industry and boost overall tourism with Tourism Ministry

Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association hosts forum to facilitate industry and boost overall tourism with Tourism Ministry

The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) has reportedly hosted its second Key Persons’ Forum for the industry in order to facilitate the industry during the Covid 19 pandemic period and to boost overall tourism in collaboration with the country’s Tourism Ministry.
The forum was conducted with Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, State Minister of Gem and Jewellery Related Industries Lohan Ratwatte, SLGJA Chairman Ahsan

Refai and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairperson Kimarli Fernando.
According to reports, the event had created a platform for a two-way discussion between the gem and jewellery industry as well as the Ministry of Tourism. The event was attended by executive members of the SLGJA, the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) and many local gem and jewellery traders.
The collaboration between the gem and jewellery industry and the tourism sector is expected to maximize an influx of tourists to the country, especially attracting the up-market tourists. With the potential to be one of the largest foreign revenue earners, by generating around US$ 500 million foreign exchange through the sale of gems and jewellery to foreign travellers, the gem and jewellery industry will be an immense support to uplift the tourism sector, the Daily FT has reported.
In his opening remarks Refai has reportedly noted Sri Lanka’s rich heritage of producing high quality gemstones and the unique opportunity to promote and market gemstones to the world.

“A concentrated marketing campaign together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority would greatly benefit the promotion of gem and jewellery trade. This will encourage more tourists to visit our island to experience our gem mines that are set against the backdrop of the beautiful paddy and mountain landscapes. The gem and jewellery industry in Sri Lanka spans over centuries in history with able miners, talented crafts people and astute traders carrying the treasures of the land beyond oceans, and bringing in much wealth back to the country.”
Minister Ranatunga acknowledged the need to combine the efforts of the two industries has been quoted as saying, “It is our responsibility to protect and expand the brand recognition we have for our gem and jewellery industry.”
He has further noted that the Ministry of Tourism was positive about drawing the necessary action plans to implement campaigns where tourism will call attention to the gem and jewellery sector as part of promoting the destination.

Speaking on behalf of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and emphasising the evident benefits of the two industries working together, Fernando has reportedly assured the promotion of the gem and jewellery industry through the SLTPB in all future campaigns and has emphasised the significant impact that can be achieved through this association.
She has further noted a tourism travel app, currently in the development stages with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and has offered to add the names of all the gem and jewellery traders, who are licensed by the authority, on the app, that will help tourists locate the shops as ‘places to visit’.
State Minister Ratwatte had thanked Ranatunga and the members of the gem and jewellery industry for their unyielding support of his Ministry and had assured the support of the Ministry in industrial growth and in promoting the industry in a larger scale through providing ease of support for business operations and creating a conducive environment for the sector to grow.
The possibility of holding Facets International Gem and Jewellery Show in January of 2022, as addressed by Altaf Iqbal, the Chairman of the aforementioned show, was also discussed at the forum, according to the local media report.
Facets is one of the campaigns that can truly leverage tourism to the country since the main event always draws a large number of foreign buyers to the country.

OSL take:

The gem and jewellery industry has been a historically significant industry in Sri Lanka. The amalgamation of the gem and jewellery industry and the tourism industry will undoubtedly help both industries. Sri Lanka’s legendary gem industry is a great attraction for foreign tourists. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is once again on the path to returning to normalcy after facing the impact of the global Covid 19 pandemic. Also, interest in Sri Lanka by the foreign businesses is on the rise since the country is fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region given its geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as the trade concessions enjoyed by the country.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20210409/Z_7

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