Top corporate leader and a close associate of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Dinesh Weerakkody is entrusted with the task of resurrecting the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau (SLTPB), which is currently in the doldrums, Colombo Telegraph learns.
Werakkody is likely to be appointed the Prime Minister’s “Point Person” to the SLTPB, the institution responsible for Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion overseas. The SLTPB’s priority project – its digital marketing campaign – is yet to see the light of day due to multiple delays, much to the consternation of the industry. The campaign was initially scheduled to take off early this year.
As a result of this setback, SLTPB’s Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramanium has also come under pressure to quit his post. Balasubramanium’s lukewarm performance has been identified as a key reason for the delayed digital marketing campaign which has already frustrated the tourism industry.
Dehan Seneviratne was recently appointed the new Chairman of the SLTPB. The appointment, Colombo Telegraph learns, has been made based on Weerakkody’s recommendation.
Weerakkody has been selected by the Prime Minister as his “Point Person” to the SLTPB due to his strong credentials as a corporate leader and his close ties with Tourism Minister John Amaratunga and the SLTPB’s newly appointed Chairman. Weerakkody, currently a Senior Advisor to the Tourism Ministry and a member of the Tourism Task Force (TTF), is the son-in-law of Amaratunga.
Therefore, Weerakkody is expected to play a crucial role at the top tier of the SLTPB, coordinating the Prime Minister, the Ministry and the SLTPB’s senior management. His immediate responsibility would be to ensure implementation of the SLTPB’s digital marketing campaign which, according to the Prime Minister, is currently “going nowhere”.
In addition to his role in the government sector, Weerakkody is also the Chairman of the Hatton National Bank. one of the country’s most experienced bank directors, he has also functioned as the Chairman of Commercial Bank and as a board director of DFCC Bank Plc.