Tourism Alliance Announces Winners of Transformational Travel Designer Scholarship

Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance, together with the US-based Transformational Travel Council is proud to announce the winners of the scholarship for the ‘Transformational Travel Designer Program’. Due to the overwhelming response received, the Tourism Alliance has decided to award not one but three scholarships to Andrea Goonesekera, The Fabulous Getaway, Dilsiri Welikala, Kitesurfing Lanka, and Chandika Jayaratne, Vayu Mannar. Each scholarship is valued at $2000.
“The Tourism Alliance has taken time to think about how best we can support the SME sector. We understand the importance of building the knowledge and experience required to deliver quality visitor experiences throughout Sri Lanka. This is why we partnered with the Transformation Travel Council to provide this great opportunity to the SME sector. We hope the three participants will be able to take away skills, tools, and connections to bring Transformational Travel to the forefront of Sri Lanka’s tourism structure,” said Malik Fernando, Co-Chair, Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance.

Sharing her views on why she applied for the Transformational Travel Designer Program Andrea Goonesekera highlighted that transformational travel has really been gaining traction over the last decade and her team at The Fabulous Getaway have actively been seeking to increase their understanding of curating meaningful transformational experiences that really resonate with the modern-day travellers. Andrea hopes that this program will give her the opportunity to drive change, inspire and guide her team to bring transformational travel to the forefront here in Sri Lanka.

Dilsiri Welikala is the Co-Founder and owner of Kitesurfing Lanka, one of the first kiting companies in Sri Lanka. With no background in tourism, Dilsiri relied on his ability to listen to consumers and observe what others were doing to create immersive, unique, and amazing experiences. Dilsiri is focused on building a holistic ecosystem through tourism that would benefit the whole community. He believes that the world of travel will never be the same post the COVID-19 pandemic. Travellers will want their hard-earned money being put into good use; to see communities and the environment cared through it. He hopes the Transformational Travel Program will propel him to leverage on post COVID traveller sentiments.

Chandika Jayaratne is part of the team at Vayu Mannar and hopes to gain more insights into the practical aspects of transformational travel. He hopes this program will really help him get a better understanding of how to enhance their product offering while also helping local communities.

The Tourism Alliance thanks the Transformational Travel Council for a fruitful collaboration and the many applicants for taking the time to apply for this program. Apart from this fantastic opportunity, the Alliance has ramped up its efforts in supporting the entire tourism industry during these unprecedented times launching several successful initiatives to share knowledge and insights including the upcoming launch of the Tourism Alliance’s domestic platform Love Sri Lanka Locals. More information on future initiatives and opportunities can be found on and the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance Facebook and Linkedin pages.