Australia Awards alumnus Rahula Perera is an ecologist, nature-based tourism product developer and photographer. He runs a specialisedtourism venture in Sri Lanka. With the opportunity to participate in the Sustainable Tourism Development Short Course in 2018, Rahula was able to further boost his skills and knowledge in sustainable tourism. During the course, Rahula established close contacts with the two Australian universities that deliveredthe course, and the leading resource persons from the universities became his mentors. The course also helped him expand his contacts and potential customer base.
During the course, Rahula learnt about Australian tour guiding qualifications and developed contacts with Savannah Guides Ltd—Australia’s leading tour guide professional development and training organisation. This paved the way for him to complete the necessary requirements and become anEcoGuide certified by Ecotourism Australia and the first international SavannahGuide accredited by Savannah Guides Ltd.
“Rahula is a valued member of the Savannah Guides fraternity and returns to Australia at least once a year to build his tourism links and maintain contact with the Savannah Guides network. We will continue to support his efforts in Sri Lanka as best we can,” said Mr Russell Boswell of SavannahGuides Ltd.
Rahula’s ongoing partnership with Savannah Guides has led to multiple activities of tourism exchange between Sri Lanka and Australia. Rahula has also been involved in various Savannah Guides Field Schools in Australia and has hosted the President and partner of the organisation in Sri Lanka. Rahula’s efforts have led to plans for other Savannah Guides representatives to visit Sri Lanka and hold meetings with Sri Lankan tourism organisations and operators.