Staff spotlight – Venura, Assistant Manager

We wanted to give Venura a special shout-out before he heads off  to live in his wife, Lalita’s, homeland of Thailand with their three year old daughter, Vehhasri.  Venura has been a wonderful employee and colleague and we wish him and his family the very best for their new life away from Sri Lanka.  We’ve asked Venura to share with us about life here and what will be missed….

How did you get in to the tourism industry?

I graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management from the Cardiff Metropolitan University UK and a MBA from the Sunderland University UK and then entered the travel trade, spending nine years handling the Far Eastern region including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore & Malaysia.

What do you enjoy doing?

I love travelling inside Sri Lanka and overseas to explore the beauty of nature, mainly beaches.   I also like to experience different types of food which are authentic to each place.

In my leisure time, I enjoy swimming, watching movies (which cover historical events and real stories), playing both the guitar & keyboard and enjoying karaoke singing.

I’d love to be at the poolside overlooking the sea on a sunny Saturday with a chilled Lion beer (famous local beer).  This is a great way of releasing stress for me.

Where do you enjoy going in Sri Lanka?

My wife, daughter & I love the beach and swimming, so the areas of Ahungalla, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna would be ideal.  Unawatuna would be the best and certainly a favourite of many Sri Lankans with easy access being only 108 kms south of Colombo.  It also has more life than other Sri Lankan beach towns, with hipster cafes and nightlife that are some of the most happening in the region.

Nuwara Eliya is also a great place for the cooler climate and like Ella, a great place for a romantic getaway.  For hotels, I recommend the Cinnamon Lodge Habarana.

What have you learnt while working at The ravel Concierge Sri Lanka?

I’ve spent seven years working predominantly with Japanese clients.  It’s been interesting to get a different perspective and understand the preferences of this market.  It’s helped me to work more efficiently by meeting deadlines, sending complete & informative replies, being neat and well organised etc.   On a daily basis it’s been a learning process and I have really enjoyed it.

What is your favourite Sri Lankan food?

Milk rice and katta sambal made by my mother.  Simple katta sambol awakens the taste buds and is as a perfect accompaniment to any dish.  It’s probably the hottest sambol you will find in Sri Lanka where most of us like their food hot and spicy. It’s a simple dish, prepared with a mix of coarse red chilli & onion ground on sil batta (mortar pestal) with added lemon juice.

Spicy Black Pork Curry is also a favourite and I think the best I’ve had is in Habarana, though anywhere in Sri Lanka it tastes good.

What do you think about Sri Lanka tourism ?

Sri Lanka is a small island country that contains many natural beauties which attract tourists from all over the world. That has been the main reason being named as the number one in Lonely Planet and other platforms.

How green are you?

I am very much concerned about the environment as a citizen who loves mother nature and number two as one working in the tourism industry.  I make sure that plastic usage is very much minimum, follow proper guidelines in disposing the garbage and drive a hybrid car.  Hence by such ways I try as much as possible to minimize my carbon footprint and support to save the environment for the next generation.

Where’s the best nightlife in Colombo?

The nightclub “R&B” and the rooftop bar at the Botanik

What have you liked most about your time with The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka?

I’ve loved the free working environment and all staff getting treated equally by the management and the trust which management have towards the staff members.

What’s a great Sri Lankan song suitable as a “TTC” theme song?

Sri Lanka Matha by Bathiya & Santhush.  Because as an organisation people from multi ethnicities work in harmony.  It makes me proud of Sri Lanka!

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