Ebert Silva, a pioneer and a legend in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism remembered

Ebert Silva Holidays together with Ebert Silva Foundation organized many religious and CSR activities to mark the 11th death anniversary of the Founder Ebert Silva, the late chairman of Ebert Silva Group on March 28, 2023.

A pioneer and a legend in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry, Ebert Silva was born on November 2nd 1932. Nomis de Silva (1894 – 1953), father of Ebert Silva founded a passenger transport company in 1925, with the first bus being operated from Colombo to Matara. Later, he named it after his eldest son as ‘Ebert Silva Omni Bus Company Limited’. In 1953, however, Ebert Silva, who was educated at St. Peters’ College Colombo, as a young 21 year old was compelled to take over the company owing to the untimely death of his father.

Ebert Silva, a legend in Sri
Lanka’s travel & tourism industry

As one of the youngest entrepreneurs of the bus company era that spanned approximately three decades, Ebert Silva was successful in expanding and operating a model transport service that complied with high standards of quality and service. His sheer determination, resilience and commitment made the ‘Ebert Silva’ brand the only survivor of post nationalization of the 36 bus companies in 1958. Enduring the excruciating loss of losing the Omni Bus Company almost overnight, he nurtured Ebert Silva Touring Company which he incorporated as a young 22 year old to cater to tourism. His astute and visionary leadership was a success story that withstood the test of time giving rise to a national brand that had made lasting contributions in pioneering Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism.

Ebert Silva was a pioneer in domestic tourism. As a young entrepreneur he initiated many tour packages to less seen and travelled places in the island and was among the first to introduce ‘package tours’ to promote places of historic and scenic importance in Sri Lanka. Building a brand synonymous with Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry the company under his leadership and vision was felicitated on numerous occasions for its quality of service and contribution to the industry with many awards and accolades including Presidential Awards.

As a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry his contribution was generously extended to its advancement and promotion with him also serving as the President of the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka. In recognition of a lifetime of committed contribution to Sri Lanka’s travel industry he was honored with the Presidential Award as a ‘Legend’ in Sri Lanka’s Travel and Tourism in 2009. Ebert Silva was also among the legendary individuals felicitated at Sri Lanka Tourism’s Golden Jubilee celebrations for his outstanding contribution to the development and growth of the tourism industry through the years.

Chevrolet Open Body Bus

With roots going as far back as the 1920s, the ‘Ebert Silva’ brand stands out with its time tested contribution having being interwoven with the long history of the island’s transport and tourism industries. Well after 9 decades today, his vision has enabled Ebert Silva Holidays to contribute yet another distinct touristic experience to the industry. In collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism the company operates the open deck city sightseeing services which are a feature found in every leading tourist destination around the world.

Ebert Silva gave life to a significant and splendid chapter in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industries amidst many obstacles and formidable challenges. The commitment and vision of legendary pioneers as Ebert Silva enabled the industry to reach the present heights and play a pivotal role in the advancement of the Sri Lankan economy.

Ebert Silva was remembered with deep love, honor and gratitude by the family and staff marking his 11th death anniversary on March 28th.


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