Hilton has launched Hilton Liya Diriya – a specially curated female development programme in Sri Lanka.

In partnership with the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), the hospitality brand aims to provide training opportunities for local female students who wish to pursue a career in hospitality.

Those participants who will be selected will have to undergo two training phases to pick up practical knowledge, skills and experiences, involving a one-month period dedicated to theoretical training with SLITHM and a six-month industrial traineeship at one of Hilton’s properties in Sri Lanka.

Moreover, the participants will receive support from the brand throughout the duration of the programme, in the form of accommodation, allowance and mentoring.

Upon graduation, they will also be awarded certifications, as well as employment opportunities at a Hilton property in Sri Lanka or abroad.

This programme is in line with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 goal of doubling its social impact investment.

Commenting on the initiative, Paul Hutton, vice president, operations, Hilton in southeast Asia said:

“Sri Lanka has shown immense potential for us over the years, evidenced by the resilience of the country, its promising tourism sector and ongoing improvements to infrastructure which have laid a strong foundation for us to kickstart our robust expansion plans.”

“Through the introduction of Hilton Liya Diriya, we hope to leverage our scale and capacity to advance women’s economic empowerment in the country by identifying and developing the best local talents, and I look forward to seeing them excel in their careers with us.”

Kimarli Fernando, chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism said:

“We aspire to achieve a higher level of female participation in Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry, especially in the skilled and value creation areas, which would provide more opportunities for them to further their careers in the longer term.

Currently, women make up less than 10 per cent of the hospitality workforce locally, compared to 54 per cent globally. This is a strategic change Sri Lanka Tourism is striving for and we are delighted to partner with Hilton on the Hilton Liya Diriya programme, which is a major step forward to champion the strategic change in our workforce.”