Sri Lanka’s first guidebook to responsible travel unveiled

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Paradise Exorcised Cover

“Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.” – William Ruckelshaus

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“Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.” – William Ruckelshaus

They say an idea brings about change, a vision brings about evolution. On January 19, 2012, an idea was launched, in turn to create a vision. Written and compiled by renowned author Juliet Coombe, with the help of environmental expert David Altabev, Sri Lanka’s first guidebook to responsible travel was unveiled at the Galle Heritage Villa by Jetwing to much fanfare and appreciation. Titled “Paradise Exorcised,” the book seeks to educate travelers on the effects of global tourism, as well as tips on how to minimize such impact.

Being one of a kind in scope and imagination, the book has attracted the attention of prominent personalities such as Mahela Jayawardena, who contributed the foreword. Being a passionate protector of the environment, the elegant cricketer has supported the development of the guidebook from its inception. In addition, HSBC and Small Luxury Hotels of the World have come aboard as partners on the project, being powerfully involved in the field of sustainability and responsible business practices.

Commencing at 6:00 pm, the launch was opened by Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing, speaking on the recognition of Jetwing’s so far understated sustainability measures given by Juliet in the book. He particularly praised her dedication, as well as David’s expertise, which contributed immensely towards the project’s completion. The evening continued in the fashion, with David and Juliet speaking their thoughts, inspiration, and commitment towards the cause of sustainability, as well as the growing need to be environmentally conscious. It was indeed an event to remember; particularly with the talented young Asia Hewapathirana, whose work is featured on the cover of “Paradise Exorcised,” being a part of the discussions and actively engaged in the cause through creativity and art.

Attended by prominent society figures, representatives of the media, as well as attendees of the HSBC Galle Literary Festival 2012, the launch was indeed a success, with more than 100 guests within the homely atmosphere of the Galle Heritage Villa, Jetwing Hotels’ recent management acquisition. Situated within the picturesque Fort of Galle, the 4 bedroom villa was a hit among the guests due to its old world charm.

“It brings a smile to my face, knowing that finally Jetwing has been recognized for measures we put in place a long while ago, as well as our constant dedication to being a sustainable and environmentally-conscious company, and I must say that Juliet and her team have done an excellent job,” said Hiran Cooray, speaking to the media. “Jetwing’s long-term goal is to be carbon neutral; we are striving to achieve such status in the years to come,” he continued.

“The entire book? It was a wild ride!” said Juliet Coombe, laughing. “Balancing my two sons and traveling around the country seeking out Jetwing’s initiatives was indeed a difficult task, but one that is well worth it. David and I both were surprised to know the extent to which Jetwing has planned their projects, especially their future ones. Speaking to Hiran, Shiromal, Ruan, and Jude, as well as the General Managers, we saw their passion, their commitment towards what they believe in, and we aimed to bring that out in the book, which we feel we have done,” she exclaimed. The book will be sold at Jetwing properties, as well as in leading bookshops in Sri Lanka, such as Odel, Vijitha Yapa, and Barefoot and can also be ordered online via email: [email protected] .

Family owned and in the tourism industry for the past 38 years, Jetwing Hotels has surpassed expectation at every aspect. Building on their foundation of being passionate, as well as the experience of true, traditional, Sri Lankan hospitality, constantly pioneering discoveries captures the essence of the brand. Such a strong statement and direction have enabled Jetwing Hotels to imagine, create, and manage marvels and masterpieces, where distinctive design and elegant comfort complement each other and the environment.

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