The Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA) announced Mr. Priyal Perera as its newly elected President at the 48th AGM held at Cinnamon Resorts, Habarana. He is a veteran hotelier with over 30 years’ experience in the hotel & business sector. Priyal Perera becomes the 37th President of the CHSGA, succeeding Mr. Samantha Gunarathne, who served a term of two years as the President. CHSGA, which is the alumni of the Ceylon Hotel School (Presently known as Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management / SLITHM) is the leading representative tourism and hospitality sector in Sri Lanka, representing almost 1000 hotels and guest houses, which employ over 60,000 people throughout the country.
The CHSGA has a membership of over 4000 professional hoteliers who are Graduates of the Ceylon Hotel School (SLITHM), who are employed in senior management positions locally and overseas.
Three hundred members attended the event, including members from overseas and past presidents. Chief Guest of the Occasion was Mr. Dilip De Silva, Patron CHSGA / Chairman SLITHM. The Guest of Honor was Mr. Sumitra Gunasekara, a veteran hotelier and former Group Director of John Keels Holdings. The members enjoyed the fabulous weekend and expressed their appreciation for a well organized three days. The re-launch of the CHSGA Hotelier Magazine was a matter of great interest to the members. It is a hospitality and tourism news portal to serve the industry professionals, with Mr. Thakshila Galappaththy, who is also the Chief Editor. Copies of the magazine were distributed at the AGM and are also available on the website.
A Special feature highlighting two major annual assignments of CHSGA were showcased. “Propel” the Soft skills development programme & the “Hotel Show Colombo” the annual exhibition for the Trade to be held in November 2019.
The new President Mr. Priyal Perera outlined his vision & milestones for the association. He will prioritize & address the ongoing challenges faced by the industry, focusing and ensuring sustainable business environment to support overall aspects of Sri Lanka tourism, with the help of relevant authorities. His key priorities include mitigating the risks posed to the industry from economic setbacks, tackling the high cost of doing business in Sri Lanka, increased marketing and product development support for tourism in the region and the continued expansion of skills and training support for the employees within the tourism and hospitality industry. His key priorities will include close cooperation with the SLITHM in order to upgrade & sustain professional standards of the Hotel School. Projects such as Development of Soft Skills, Curriculum development & obtain Degree status for SLITHM. In addition a host of Development activities will be in place including HR, Social & CSR, Tourism progression, Training & Development, Competitions & Skills enhancement; Strategic planning & culinary exposure will be in place with specific timelines.
Outgoing President Mr. Samantha Gunarathne stated, “There are serious challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the sustained growth of the tourism and hospitality sector. Samantha pointed that his tenure was a challenging two years, and with the support & cooperation of everyone he was able to achieve success in his endeavors, specially the finalization of Strategic direction for CHSGA. Further he expressed his appreciation to the outgoing executive committee, all CHSGA members, Past Presidents & the advisors.
Priyal Perera joined the Hotel industry way back in 1986. After a brief stint at the Lanka Oberoi, he joined the then Confifi Group as a Management Trainee. After the completion of the Training period Priyal held several executive & management positions in the Confifi Group.
Priyal who is a Management Diploma Holder from Ceylon Hotel School – specialized in Food & Beverage management, passed out in 1991. He is also a Diploma Holder from Hotel School de Hague in Holland, followed the executive summer programme in 1990. He is also a Diploma Holder in Marketing from Wigan & Leigh College in London. He was the Food & beverage Manager at Riverina Hotel when he was invited to take up a Trading arm within the Confifi Group. He took over Confifi Hotel Supplies and served as the General Manager until 2004.
He then joined with Hemas Group as the Head of Projects & Procurement of the Leisure sector, served until 2006. He later started his own business dealing with Hotel Equipment. He served as the Chairman / Managing Director of Jysper Catering Equipment & Supplies (Pvt) Ltd. In 2009 Priyal opened his boutique hotel in Weliveriya named “Christine Nature Resort”. He successfully owned & operated the businesses until 2018. Priyal joined Hemas Group and is the Head of Procurement for Hemas Leisure sector.
A “Fellow” member of the CHSGA, Priyal joined the Executive Committee in 2002 and continuously served in different capacities. He served in Office bearer positions and also headed several sub committees. He served as the Chief Editor, National Bar Tenders Committee Chairman, AGM organizing committee Chairman, CSR committee Chairman, Membership development committee, Social & events committee Chairman to name a few. He is also a member of Malaysia Sri Lanka business council and was recently appointed as the General Secretary of St. Benedicts College Old Boys Union.