As the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association celebrates its Golden Anniversary, I consider this an enormous privilege and an honour and feel silently proud to lead this great Association on it’s semicentennial year. With a dynamic and an enthusiastic Executive Committee in place, I am very confident that the CHSGA will be able to meet the demands of the industry and the membership while navigating a new path, leading upto next 50 years.
From the founding year of 1971, headed by Mr. Malin Hapugoda, we have had 34 Presidents who has done yeoman service to bring the association to what it is today. We should all be proud of what the association has achieved over the years and that the Association has had, as members, many distinguished Alumni who have made significant contributions both nationally and internationally.
As the Alumni of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management ( SLITHM), the vision of the association is for “Our members to be the most preferred hospitality professionals in Sri Lanka and globally with excellent leadership abilities to manage their organizations to the highest professional standards.” To this effect in 2017, Shifting Leagues – CHSGA Strategic Direction 2021 was created with the aim of taking the association to the next level. Many of the our short, mid and long-term plans were put in to action and some are in progress even at this moment. However, the pandemic has cut across all socioeconomic lines and affected all age groups and countries around the world. This has changed the tourism and hospitality landscape tremendously and we need to take stock of the current situation and bring in changes to be on par with what is needed by the industry as well as the stake holders of CHSGA.
This year, CHSGA will look at four pillars for development. They are Membership development and Member Relations, forming a Center of Excellence, Fund Raising and Fund Management and SLITHM Relations.
For any association, the members are it’s core and one of the key tasks that we will pursue next year is to significantly increase the Associations membership and to actively engage with the existing members to bring them back to the CHSGA. We hope that we will have the fullest support and corporations of our members in this endeavor.
CHSGA Center for Excellence is another project that we hope to launch this year with the aim of enhancing the knowledge base as well the qualifications of the hoteliers.
It is a known fact that it is vital for any Association to raise funds to carry out and support its various projects. Many of you from experience would know this is no easy task. Over the last two years, CHSGA faced with this challenging task and we will need to focus on other creative avenues to raise funds and manage it.
As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary during a pandemic with hopes of the industry rebounding, we too have several initiatives planned for the coming year and many projects in the pipeline to increase member benefits and interaction, student welfare and our reach and impact as thought leaders. We would also like to call upon our membership to partner with us and lend us your co-operation and assistance to take your beloved association forward.
Finally, let me conclude by thanking all of you for your support extended over the years and look forward to the continued support and active involvement of the entire membership to carry out our activities in the coming year.