Imasha Dahanayake started her career at United Airlines in Sri Lanka straight after school as a Reservations Executive. Later, she moved to the UK to further her studies and was lucky enough to get a job at the Sri Lankan Airlines office in London. After spending over 16 years with the national carrier in the UK, she moved back to Sri Lanka in order to give back to her motherland. Imasha was very honored when she was offered her current role at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, being one of the oldest and most iconic hotels in the country.


What does Public relations mean to you?

Public relations is the heart of any organization and is very critical in the hospitality field. We are a lifestyle choice of the customer and we have to ensure that we stand out in this ever changing very competitive field. We have to be as appealing and efficient as possible to satisfy the customer’s very high expectations when they visit us.

Do you face any workplace challenges?

I am grateful that I found a job where we have great team effort, and everyone pitches in so my challenges are at a minimum. If I was to pick something it would be trying to educate everyone on the importance of looking after our planet and doing the little things to ensure we don’t add to its destruction. The hotel is moving towards being free of single use plastic by early next year and we are on phase 2 of the project at the moment.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love what I do. I enjoy making a positive impact on anyone’s life. A smile and good manners are the simplest ways of affecting someone else’s life positively. I meet and greet our guests and do my best to make their time at the hotel an enjoyable experience and I do the same with my team members. You never know what the other person is going through and your smile and attentiveness can make all the difference.


What is the most memorable experience you’ve had on the job?

Almost a year ago, ‘Newsfirst’ aired a story of an elderly mother from Mount Lavinia who has locked up in a dog cage by her children. The lady was malnourished and traumatized. The Women and Child Affairs Department of Mount Lavinia had taken her to the Kalubowila Hospital for treatment. Helping the local community is a priority of the hotel and the staff likewise. We paid her a visit in hospital with some rations, clothes and food. We also offered our further assistance to the lady police officer who was in charge of this case if she needed so. Seeing the smile on her face and the satisfaction of being able to be there for someone at their most vulnerable time is unmeasurable. This is by far the most memorable day during my tenure at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.


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Clayton Durant


The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.