“Every day we must choose between the weight of perfection and the freedom of Authenticity. Choosing the latter can move mountains + minds.” - B. Oakman
Authenticities was conceptualised with the aim of introducing innovative and authentic experiences. We focused on creating a brand that emphasises on crafting experiences that inspire emotion and being a guide to portray Sri Lanka in all its magnificence.
We aspire to go beyond typical tourist activities and integrate travel concepts to local lifestyles and cultural elements. This gives our clients the opportunity to engage and interact with our people, culture and heritage and experience Sri Lanka in a manner which is authentic and indigenous. Hence, it becomes important for us to unlock new avenues through experiential tourist encounters.
As an island, we have identified each region of Sri Lanka to be unique and diverse through its culture, landscape, architecture, food and people.We represent a brand, which is vibrant and has evolved through careful deliberation on how we could introduce authentic experiences and emotion. So it isn’t a surprise that authenticity is at the heart of everything we do.
We aspire to add an entirely new dimension to serve the discerning traveller. The infusion of Design, Novelty and Finesse elements helps foster our unique concept of ‘emotion’ and demands us to be different, unique, think innovatively and instill a phenomenon that continues to inspire us.
The element of “Design” encourages us to pursue experiences that are indigenous, authentic, and meaningful whilst “Novelty” enriches a raw concept through the incorporation of flavour and colour. “Finesse” is the ultimate consequence of our people and networks that contributes to the execution of a concepts to its maximum potential.
Authenticities is driven by our passion to travel and create meaningful and authentic experiences. Travel is a perpetually transforming concept today. It has evolved tremendously and continues to do so and demands for varied elements to complement and inspire different perspectives. Having identified this need, Authenticities strive to meet and deliver experiences that will allow you to seek your inspiration. We advocate knowledge-driven tacit interactions between our intellectual clients and local experts in various spheres of specialisation.
The relationships we have built and nurtured with our vendors transcends business transactions. It’s a personal and almost familial bond that has grown and finds itself deep rooted in traditional and cultural practices. Each vendor is unique, an expert in his industry and has a different story to tell. Without them, we will not be able to muster the Emotion we do so and create authentic cultural experiences. We believe that our work is "our life long passion" which requires an interminable effort in search of quality through day-to-day deliberations.
President / Co-Founder
Vice President / Co-Founder
Wilhelm Van Dort
Head of France and Benelux
Towering over you at 6 feet (no inches), Shanitha may seem intimidating at first glance. But you’ll realise it’s all a façade within the first five minutes of interaction with him; as he’s what you’d call a ‘gentle giant’.
Hailing from the cultural capital Kandy, Shanitha was educated at one the cities most prestigious schools St Anthony’s College, where he excelled at sports, notably, Rugby. This particular interest led him towards captaining one of the celebrated rugby clubs, CR and FC and even playing for the National team. Later he even played for Walkers Tours - a subsidiary of the John Keells Group.
Shanitha’s passion for travel, discovering pristine locations and current affairs is fulfilled by the tremendous wealth of opportunities his work has to offer. With over 30 years of experience in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, Shanitha has travelled extensively to many European destinations and the United States, handling some of the most prestigious travel brands celebrated globally.
He believes that his experience in India has been the most rewarding thus far; where he was required to set up DMC operations on behalf of the company. The opportunity allowed him to manage a multicultural workforce, travel extensively around the country and handle complex operations successfully.
As the co-founder of Authenticities Shanitha is responsible for the European and US markets with a specialisation in the incentive and luxury segments. His genuine concern for partners and clients is reflected in the way he does business.
Look beyond the tough exterior, and you will find Shanitha extremely easy-going with a quirky sense of humour and an endless desire to help the underprivileged.
Dilshad is the co-founder of Authenticities and is responsible for the development and performance of UK, Scandinavia and European markets. He is also responsible for branding, designing of ”emotions” and unique experiences, at Authenticities.
Dilshad has a Merit award in his MBA Degree in Business Administration at the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) in Sri Lanka and also has a Diploma in arketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). Dilshad brings in over 28 years of Corporate experience.
Dilshads experience in the Tourism industry in the past 16 years comes with exposure in multiple areas in Tourism including Sales and Marketing, Operations, Branding, Health and Safety, Quality and Customer Service.
Dilshad is a dedicated individual with a passion for travel and discovering cultures through meeting with typically local people. By nature Dilshad is a realist, adventurous, looking for new challenges as long as it is unique, new and adrenaline-driven. Unpretentious by nature Dilshad is demanding when it comes to quality and finesse in everything he does. His recent passion for photography compliments his current role and enjoys creating new experiences though his own experiences.
Dilshad enjoys reading biographies, history and anything related to travel. His passion and interests revolves around exploring historical sites, ancient and modern archiecture, watching classic movies, along with Formula1 and MotoGP racing. Love for art and cuture is a clear passion for Dilshad whilst he enjoys being a street photographer capturing moments of expressions and impressions
Wilhelm is a former Cricketer who represented his Alma Mater Wesley College and later was picked to represent the Sri Lanka under 23 team against Pakistan. During his cricketing days, Wilhelm was known to be a fierce opening bowler and also represented the Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) in Colombo.
He gave up his Cricketing career and his career in Tourism began at Voyages Ceylon in 1974. His deep passion for travel and his love for the French language and culture convinced him to migrate to France in 1980 and pursuing a degree in the University of Rouen in France until 1984.
Returning back to Sri Lanka after perfecting his French language, Wilhelm was instrumental in establishing the French and Benelux markets at Walkers Tours working closely with some of the most reputed Tourism brands including Ormes, Fram Voyages, Asia Voyages, SDT Incentives and is known to be THE MAN for Incentives using innovative and practical approach to designing programs.
A voracious reader, Wilhelms other interests and hobbies include sports, music and discovering new places and culture.
Amila brings with him over 8 years experience operating within the French market. Amila speaks fluent French and followed the diploma programme at the Alliance Francaise in Kandy. His passion for the French lanugaue paved the way to the Tourism industry. Always committed to his work, Amila is loved by his partners for his unpretentious approach but consistent and committed delivery in everything he does.
Amila hails from Kandy and studied at the Kingswood College. It is a well-known secret that together with Wilhelm, Amila works in tandem to give the best clients expect.
Amila is a huge supporter of the Sri Lanka Cricket team and also loves Music and Movies.
Head of UK and US
Manager Italy and Spain
Asst. Manager Italy and Spain
Ashan is blessed with over 10 years experience in Tourism and takes on a very important role with Authenticities. Ashan is full of passion for travel and has travelled quite extensively. A former cricketer and a cricket lover, he loves music apart from this great team sport. He has worked with some great travel brands and his approach to life and travel is pretty interesting.
Ashan seems to be a bit of an explorer when it comes to creating his own cocktails. Arrack seems to be the more dominant spirit which makes it interesting for the rest of us.
Gayan plays a pivotal role in developong the Italian and Spanish markets and is one of our senior guys with over 10 years in the Tourism Industry.
Gayans personality can be misleading as he tends to be quiet but comes out with cracking stuff after a few shots of Arrack. He frequents the gym sessions and keeps himself fit which annoys his colleagues
Nishy can be a deceiving character well known for imitating colleagues and former colleagues. This is usually performed when the victim is not present. He serves our Italian and Spanish accounts.
First impressions can be deceiving but Nishy is a great guy to work with and is a loyal individual bringing over 12 years of experiencein the Tourism industry. He loves his Cricket and seems to remember some of the most minute statistics.
His stint at Maldives has been an adventure, we hear..
Prabha is a part of our Management Team. With over 30 years in Tourism experiences, manages all our Operations and Logistical requirements and ensures that we attract and retain the best Chauffeur Guides and suppliers.
Prabha has a Diploma in Business Management from Tudor College, UK. He is also an All Island Justice of Peace.
We usually call Prabha for almost everything as he seems to know the answer to all our day-today issues.
Asst. Manager Scandinavia, Voyageurs Du Monde and France
Tour Consultant Voyageurs Du Monde, France
Asst. Manager French Group Department
Assistant Manager UK, Austria and Germany
Akitha brings a new dimension to our madness at Authenticities. His creative approach and designing has helped Authenticities to make a difference in the way we work.
He has been with Authenticities since August 2013 and is responsible for handling one of our most prestigious accounts from France, Voyageurs Du Monde whilst developing our efforts in the Scandinavian region. Akitha has successfully completed his Degree in Business Management. He is also a talented musician and a singer
Nilmini comes with over 25 years of rich experience handling the French market and is yet another addition to our connoisseurs of "French artisans".
She plays an an important role in handling our prestigous account, Voyageurs Du Monde, based in France
Nilmini has those moments where she pops out those words which generates laughter in the department. She has a sweet tooth and this usually becomes a daily topic at our workplace. Nilmini loves dogs.
Nimanthi has been in tourism since 2004 and is known for meticulously handling operational areas which are complex. Rich in her ops experience, she plays a vital role in our French group department.
Nimanthi is also known for her sporting abilities during her school days (mainly netball, javelin and put shot), she now takes interest in cooking and cake decorations.
Nuran joined us in September 2016 with experience in the apparel industry but his passion for travel has made great in-roads to Autehnticities - an ingredient we look for newcomers. He is a also a talented musician which means he is expected to perform and entertain us whereever we have a get together.
Nuran handles an interesting array of our growing accounts and markets which gives him the opportunity to broaden his tourism horizon.
Assistant Manager UK
Tour Consultant North America
Tour Consultant Tailor-Made, France
Tour Consultant Italy and Spain
Laroshi joins us as the Asst. Manager to handle our expanding portfolio of the UK region. She comes with over 6 years of tourism experince.
Laroshi grew up in Italy and speaks fluent Italian whilst she manages French, Deutsch and Spanish languages..
She loves to cook Italian and Srilankan dishes and is into big time gaming.
We have a lot to say about Donovan, who joined Authenticities in November 2017 and found his way to be more commited to handle the US and North American accounts. He has previous experience in tourism and enjoys projectbased assignments. “Donny” as he is known internally, is a genuine lover of “street food” but ends up having to share his food with the more physically tougher, overpowering colleagues who make use of his slow reaction.
A lot of new, good things have happened to Donny recently on a persoanl basis, but we intend to share this only during a session of Arrack.
Pramodya joined us in October 2016 plays an important role in developing the French department. She studied French along with English and Psychology in a University in Pune.
She loves to watch movies, reading and traveling and eager to discover Sri Lanka and find meanings to our concept of "emotion"
Chrishan Fernando, joined our family in October 2016 is attached to our notorious Italian mafia Department.
Chrishan studied at St. Sebastian College and hails from Moratuwa, which is south of Colombo. He played basketball and took part in athletics. Chrishan loves watching movies and is quite heavy into technology
Shannon De Silva
Tour Consultant, French Group Department
Assitant Manager Australia
Tour Consultant Voyageurs Du Monde and UK
Shannon comes with tourism experience and joined our French Group department in June, 2017. Shannon is that quiet guy and you hardly notice his presence during office or at a get together.
His passion is Rugby, a sport he came to love through his father who was a legendary sportsman.
Dulith has been in tourism since 2011 and is responsible for developing our newest market, Australia. An ardent fan of Manchester United, Dulith is a football fan who loves his whiskey and heavy metal music. His favourite city is Galle and loves the south.
Dulith is known for his after-party adventures and has integrated well with the rest of the team.
Tharuka is relatively a quiet person who love Sinhala Classics and enjoys reading. Her past times is to spend time swimming, cycling and going to her favourite Gym. Tharuka loves Ella and the mountain range and loves to travel and learn history.
She works for the Voyageurs Du Monde and UK departments.
Ali as he is fondly known, is attached to our growing UK team and loves sports in general, and is a big fan of Juventus and Real Madrid Football team. His hobbies include traveling, exploring the countryside, and loves the hill country in particular.
Ali also enjoys watching action and comedy movies in his past time and enjoys his weekends with his friends.
Operations US and North America
Travel Consultant UK
Operations US and Australia
Usman Ali Hilmy
Travel Consultant US
Ishara is young and energetic and joined Authenticities initially as an intern and joined the operations team in April 2018 and is attached to our growing US and North American team.
Ishara loves SLOW-MOW music, going to the gym and enjoys reading romance.
Like or deslike, Laieq joined our UK team in March 2019 and is one of the youngest members of the Authenticities family. He claims to be a DJ, and it would be certainly interesting to see how he will entertain such a demanding crowd. Laieq loves to travel and has been in tourism for the past 2 years.
Vivian is an experienced campaigner who started his tourism career back in 2008 and has been brilliant in handling operations for some of the established Tour Operators in Europe. Vivian joined us in March 2019 and will be handling operations for our growing US and Australian department.
An enthusiastic cricket fan, Vivian spends his leisure time playing softball criket and is also into movies and DC Comics.
Usman joined us in February 2019 and joins our growing North American team. With over 2 years travel experience, Usman will play an important role in supporting the team. Usman loves football and is an ardent fan of CR7. Lunch times, you see this young man expecting his Uber Eats orders.
Sanesh De Mel
Assistant Manager US and Australian Markets
Executive Transport and Logistics
Sanesh is a cricket enthusiast who joined us in June 2019. His past experience involves in Sales in a popular hotel brand in Sri Lanka. Sanesh is known for his sublime batting performances during his schooling career and is someone very keen in cricket. His enthusiasm to explore areas of market development and client management in the US and Aussie markets paves way within Authenticities.
He loves Rock music and Poison seems to be his favourite rock band. Sanesh loves mountanous landscapes and nature which is why he loves Ella as his favourite town/ city in Sri Lanka.
Janaka comes with tourism experiences of over 14 years since 2004 in the area of transport and logistics managements. He plays an important role in developing our need to source and maintain quality fleet and competent Chauffuer Guides who are capable of executing the design aspects of our travel architects.
Janaka too is enthusiastic in the game of Cricket and has represented his school team as a batsman. He loves to listen to Sinhala Music during his leisure time. The charm and historical significance of Kandy seems to be his favourite town and city in Sri Lanka.
Para is no stranger in Sri Lankas International Airport in Katunayake. He brings along more than 34 years experience taking care of our clients on arrival and departure.
Para has an excellent PR with almost everyone and uses his charm to win hearts. Unfortunately we have to stop at that.
Aponsu is a man of action. Highly experienced in the world of Tourism, he joined the trade back in 1993 being stationed at the airport during some of the most challenging times. Aponsu speaks French and this becomes very handy as the French market is one of our most establsihed.
His talents include mixing cocktails (which he proudly mentions) and is a reconteur with his amazing story tellling abilities of yesteryear. We all love his personality and his quick witty ways of getting things done.
Regional Expert Habarana and North Central Province
Regional Expert Habarana and North East Province
Regional Expert, Central Province
Regional Expert, Jaffna and Northern Province
Herath is our North Central Province coordinator who services our clients and is based in Habarana. Heraths strength comes in through his strong PR networks in the area and works closely with operations team.
Herath also coordinates cost of our school projects in the NCP (North Central Province) which requires much attention in terms of support.
After much persuasion, we managed to convince Herath to travel around in his new motorbike.
Nuwan is an energetic individual with a high interest for treks, marathons, cycling and mountain climbing. Nuwan hails from Habarana and his close relationships with networks in the region complements our service demands.
Nuwan also is responsible for accompanying specialised group movements and unearth unique experiences.
Roshan is an energetic individual with a passion for travel and motorbikes. He is based in Kandy and takes care of all our operations in the Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and the rest of the Central Province.
Roshan takes pride in unearthing new experiences which we design and introduce in this region.
Kabilan joined Authenticities in February, 2017 and overlooks our operations in Jaffna and Northern Sri Lanka. Kabilan, hashis interest and passion for the North-East Culture, History and Archeology. His contacts and networks itself have helped us to develop this region over the past few years.
Jaffna offers much more than the city walks and the usual sites. The interiors are much richer in terms of typical Jaffna lifestyle, farming, cuisine and hidden secrets, hence Kabilans appointment complements Authenticties.
Regional Expert Southern Province
Regional Expert, Central Province
Regional Expert Habarana
Head of Finance
Kavindu is our latest addition to the Regional Expert team and is based in the hub of Galle, south of the Island. He is a natural when it comes to travel and is particularly interested in archeology and studies involving the Colonial era which was dominant in Galle and the southern cities.
He loves music and is a violinist as well. Interestingly this fits well with the rest of the team as we have drummers, guitarists and a lead singer as well. Kavindu is interested in cuisine and is curious to learn more. He has completed his studies in Tourism Management and has completed the Bachelor in Hospitality and Tourism Management. We welcome Kavindu and look forward to developing the southern part of the island which would be an interesting challenge for the young man.
Suranga has been in tourism since 2006 and is an experienced campaigner in Tourism. Though born and stuided in Kandy, Suranga represented one of the established Rugby playing Clubs in Colombo and is a talended player.
Suranga joined Authenticities in February 2019 and will beplaying an important role developng Kandy and the Central Province along with Roshan.
Dulanja is our latest addition to our Regional Expert team and is based in Kandalama and will be actively involved in the Cultural Triangle area. Dulanja is young and energetic and loves to travel.
His main interests are to explore landscapes. Dulanja loves swimming and is a big wildlife fan.
Dulanja is lucky as he is flanked by two of our most expereinced regional experts in Nuwan and Herath.
Farzana is a part of our Management Team and Manages our Finance department. She comes with over 24 years of experience in the area of finance - something which is alien to all of us. for the moment her challenge is to understand our madness.
Assistant Manager Finance
Shazna Dilshad Sadiq
Dharshi supports our Finance Department and with over 30 years experience in Tourism. There are a few issues we have with Dharshi, her laugh and her failed diet plans.
Her presence can be threatening to some of our younger staff members - hiding their packs of ciggarets preventing them from smoking.
Popularly known as Lassie, she can be tenacious when it comes to paying our vendors. She is often bullied for her domestic adventures and is often intimidated by such remarks.
According to her, with age she has lost her interest for music but continues to love shopping for Leopard skinned clothing. We now discover she is into yoga and spiritualism.
Therese has over 15 years Corporate experience and manages our Administrative activities. She is our Dessert Queen feeding hungry mouths at Authenticities.
Her passion for cooking has led her to come out with her own cook book.
Shazi comes with over 9 years experience in HR and Administration. Shazi overlooks our Human Resource requirements and Administrative areas.
Shazi has one simple demand when at office a cup of Cappuccino to start the day. She also is a freak when it comes to sweets and chocolates.
With over 7 years experience, Prabhodha manages our funds and coordinates with mainstream operations. Prabodha is a highly committed individual who gives absolutely no chance for anyone when it comes to adhering to procedures.
Malsha is new to tourism and joined Authenticities in July 2016. She hails from the southern city of Galle and studied at Sangamitta college.
She loves reading and cooking and represented her school in both basketball and athletics.