Sangeetha Liyanapathirana named 2023 PATA Face of the Future

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To highlight its commitment to human capital development, PATA annually presents a special award and prize to an exceptional ‘rising star’ in the industry.

 Sangeetha Liyanapathirana, Manager – Health, Hygiene and Sustainability at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, has been named as the 2023 PATA Face of the Future. This is the most prestigious honour open to young tourism professionals in the Asia Pacific region.

“This year we received a fantastic list of applicants who could all be worthy of this recognition, and it makes me extremely hopeful for the future of our industry,” said PATA Chair Peter Semone“On behalf of everyone at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), I would like to congratulate Ms. Liyanapathirana on winning the 2023 PATA Face of the Future award. It was inspiring to learn about her passion for sustainability and how she engages with the local youth community towards this goal. This award will provide her greater exposure in Sri Lanka and throughout the industry, and I look forward to seeing her career develop as she works in line with PATA for the responsible development of travel and tourism in the region.”

“I am incredibly honoured and grateful to have received the PATA Face of the Future Award. This recognition symbolises my dedication and passion for the tourism industry. The journey to this achievement was challenging and took a lot of hard work, but it’s a testament to the power of perseverance. I am thankful to my team and mentors from Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, who believed in me, and to my family, who encouraged me.

Also, I would like to extend my gratitude to the PATA association, including the judging panel, for identifying my efforts towards the betterment of the tourism industry,” said Ms Liyanapathirana. “This award fuels my commitment to fostering sustainable and responsible tourism practices. With every step forward, I aim to leave a positive impact and inspire others to explore the beauty of our world mindfully. The path to progress continues, and I’m excited for the road ahead.”

Sangeetha Liyanapathirana is currently responsible for managing Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility activities of the hotel, Health, Safety, Environmental Safety, Legal Affairs, and Government Relations at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. In addition to the vast role with the property, she also plays a lead role in Health and Safety communications for Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts.

Sangeetha joined Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts in 2016 as a Health and Hygiene Executive at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. Ever since, she has been recognised for her remarkable commitment to an enhanced role including leading the sustainability avenue for the hotel and two promotions leading to becoming Manager of health, Hygiene and Sustainability for Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo in a short period of time. Sangeetha is now an IRCA certified Lead Auditor for ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 9001 and FSSC 22000 standards.

Sangeetha leads the way with her enthusiasm in CSR and sustainability-related activities and initiatives including volunteerism. One of her greatest passions is seeing children as the future of a sustainable world. She has been instrumental in curating many awareness sessions for secondary and tertiary-level students who aspire to be the next generation of hoteliers. Currently, she is working with the John Keells Foundation on the ‘Pasal Diriya’ programme which is intended to bridge the gap while building a sustainable model to reduce child malnutrition, ensure higher school attendance and create a positive impact on overall learning. She recently won a Silver Award for her volunteer activities from John Keells Holdings, the parent company of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, and Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerate.