Sri Lanka’s first ever professional management accreditation for its surging tourism and hospitality sector has been unveiled in Colombo.

Inaugurating the Certified Hospitality Finance & Management Accountant (CHFMA) qualification by Institute of Certified Management Accountants (CMA) under Ministry of Industry and Commerce on 5 December, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said that as a result of the new certification, the hospitality industry will have competent professionals.

“The Hospitality Industry in Sri Lanka is the third biggest foreign exchange earner, and a growing sector. It is expected that the tourist arrivals to the country would exceed 3.5 million by 2020. The direct employment in the hospitality industry is expected to exceed 250,000 by then” said Minister Bathiudeen, and added. “CMA Sri Lanka under the purview of my Ministry has introduced this specialized Finance and Management Accounting programme, for the Hospitality Industry, in collaboration with Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management. The initiative by these two institutes to meet the growing demand for qualified and competent professionals in the finance and management accounting field for the hospitality industry is commendable. This Programme will also benefit those at the senior management levels, to understand finance and cost management for decision making and growth of the organization.”

Joining the session was Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga. CHFMA is a three year program.

President-CMA Sri Lanka Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala addressing the event said that CHFMA is important due to the rapid expansion of tourism industry in Sri Lanka. “CHFMA is also the first ever Sri Lankan professional qualification to be jointly offered by two institutes. The recent HR Conference in Colombo greatly focused on tourism sector human resource development. This shows the demand.”

CMA Sri Lanka was set up in 1999 with the technical assistance of CMA Canada (now CPA Canada). CMA Sri Lanka comes under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. CMA Sri Lanka is a member of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) the global body for accountants and confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA).

This article originally appears on news.lk.

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