The CTI has been conceived by a British volunteer, Miss Catherine Leech; she has brought her 24 years’ experience in travel and tourism to develop the unit from scratch. She spent the first few months getting to understand Sarvodaya, consulting with Sarvodaya’s village communities, elders, staff and management, exploring Sri Lanka and liaising with the Sri Lankan tourism industry. Each project was conceived and developed by her in full consultation with the communities and tourism industry.
Catherine has now been joined by Mr Jagath Wijesekara, a Sri Lankan with extensive experience in hospitality and a deep understanding of community-based tourism. Jagath will manage the CTI once Catherine leaves Sri Lanka to return to the UK at the end of 2006.
Ms Jhansi Ponniah is a Sri Lankan volunteer with 30 years’ experience in the country’s tourism industry. She continues to offer her advice and support as needed.
The CTI team provides the assessment, training, marketing support and customer liaison for each project whilst also identifying potential new projects for development.
The establishment of the CTI has been generously funded by the American Jewish Joint Distribution.