On top of the world: Jetwing Hotels shines at World Travel Awards

Sri Lanka’s very own Jetwing Hotels picked up a total of three awards at the World Travel Awards 2014, which marks the seventh consecutive year Jetwing has emerged victorious at the awards.

Jetwing Blue

Established in 1993, World Travel Awards seeks to acknowledge, reward, and celebrate excellence in all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
The annual program is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and tourism industry. In 2013, over 500,000 votes were cast by travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers. Each year WTA covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region.
This year, Jetwing Lagoon, Jetwing Vil Uyana, and Jetwing Blue stood dominant in their categories, winning the same awards as last year for (respectively) Sri Lanka’s Leading Spa Resort, Sri Lanka’s Leading Boutique Hotel, and Sri Lanka’s Leading Wedding Venue.  Members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Jetwing Lagoon and Jetwing Vil Uyana are both marvels of architecture and design with the former being one of Bawa’s finest creations, and Jetwing Vil Uyana an unparalleled combination of nature and luxury. Jetwing Blue and Jetwing Lagoon are situated in the calm fishing town of Negombo, and the birthplace of the company as well.

Jetwing Lagoon

Speaking in relation to the event, Jetwing’s Head of Sales and Marketing Ishanth Gunewardene was happy to say: “Our product and quality of service is now world class and gaining popularity internationally and that is testament to our dedication and commitment to true Sri Lankan hospitality and our innovative approach. Accolades like this only help to further the strides we are making in this regard and has resulted in Jetwing becoming the premier hospitality brand in Sri Lanka. Winning three awards is indeed an achievement and I would like to thank all our associates for their hard work and dedication. We have quite a few exciting projects in the pipeline and look forward to receiving similar accolades in the future!” Family-owned and in the tourism industry for the past 40 years, Jetwing Hotels has surpassed expectation at every aspect. Building on their foundation of being passionate, as well as the experience of true, traditional Sri Lankan hospitality, constantly pioneering discoveries captures the essence of the brand. Such a strong statement and direction have enabled Jetwing Hotels to imagine, create and manage marvels and masterpieces, where distinctive design and elegant comfort complement each other and the environment.
Considered a priority, sustainable and responsible practice is implemented through the award winning Jetwing Eternal Earth Program; with energy efficiency, community upliftment, and education of earth saving measures to schoolchildren being a few tenets of the Program.

Jetwing Vil Uyana

Source : http://www.ft.lk/2014/10/15/on-top-of-the-world-jetwing-hotels-shines-at-world-travel-awards/

Asia’s First ever Travel Bloggers Conference

Asia’s First Ever Travel Bloggers Conference, a brainchild of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts will be hosted in Sri Lanka in partnership with the National Carrier SriLankan Airlines on November 18 at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo.

In organizing the above, CHR together with the Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA) have now selected 50 of the Best Travel Bloggers with a combined following of over 20 million followers! These bloggers from around the world will be hosted on a four day Pre-Conference tour in order to experience Sri Lanka and this would help them understand what the destination has to offer global travelers.z_p20-Asia’s02.jpg

The conference will consist of eminent speakers who are at the helm of their respective organizations including global social media and digital marketing powerhouses such as Google, Trip Advisor, Revinate, Travel Click and also travel experts from BBC Travel, The Times of London, Spain Tourist Board and Four bgb PR.

World renowned and highly esteemed Editor of BBC Travel Allison Busacca, will deliver the key note address. Busacca who has previously worked for the New York Times Travel Section and National Geographic Traveler will address the most significant and stimulating topics confronting the travel and hospitality industry today.

Satyan Joshi of Google, Sarah Mathews of Trip Advisor, Steve Keenan the former Travel Editor of The London Times, Jaume Martin of the Spain’s Tourist Board, Jerome Wise of Travel Click, Sara Whines of Four bgb PR and Younes Hammoumi of Revinate will all occupy speaker slots at TBCasia 2014.

Participants of the conference will have the exclusive opportunity to interact with leading Travel Bloggers through the unique concept of Speed Networking which z_p20-Asia’s03.jpgoffers one on one communication and exposure with these key influencers who are at the apex of hospitality and tourism. Over the duration of the conference participants will also be exposed to insights and techniques that are implemented and practiced by the world’s most successful Travel Bloggers and Social Media sites.

“TBCasia 2014 will set the benchmark for Asia’s travel industry, as CHR has recognized the importance of digital media and referral marketing in the Hospitality Industry”, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Head of Brand Marketing Dileep Mudadeniya added.

Further explaining about the benefits for those participating Dileep commented that “this conference will allow all participants to network with some of the world’s leading travel bloggers and Global Experts to understand the benefits of, and learn how to effectively work with travel bloggers. The wide reach of audiences these professional bloggers have across the world, extends to 39% from Americas, 47% from Europe, 11% from Australasia and also from smaller regions”

The conference will cover the dos and don’ts of blog writing, digital storytelling, mobile photography for blogs and how to market brands using new media.

TBCasia 2014 registrations are now open at www.tbcasia.com

Source : http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/asias-first-ever-travel-bloggers-conference


John Keells Group will be embarking on building two additional star class hotels in Nuwara Eliya and Yala next year. This is in addition to the ongoing Water Front project in Colombo 2. A senior official of John Keells Leisure said that their hotels have being strategically placed in most of the key tourist attraction areas in Sri Lanka.

“However we lack our foot print in Yala and Nuwara Eliya and this is the reason we opted to build hotels in these two locations,” he said. The official said they have already acquired the land in Nuwara Eliya and the group is planning to build a three star hotel.z_pi-JKH-to-02.jpg

“This will be a 90 roomed hotel.” He also disclosed that they are looking at having 70 luxuriant tent accommodations in Yala. “This will be to meet the conditions of the area since a towering building will not go with the mindset of the visitors.” Construction of both these projects will start next year.

Recently, the country’s very first lean luxury hotel, ‘Cinnamon Red’ was opened at an investment of Rs. 3.5 bn under the banner of the Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts chain.

Introducing some firsts into the city hotel’s blueprint, Cinnamon Red’s unique features include ultra modern amenities including self-check in and check out kiosks, e-concierge services, vending machines, with the rooms equipped with Wi-fi and IPTV systems. Cinnamon Red embraces the demands of the new age traveller who is in constant pursuit of unique experiences, combining innovation and affordability for a relaxed uncomplicated stay. He also disclosed that John Keells Leisure will be doing away with the brand Chaaya very soon. “We would introduce the tag ‘By Cinnamon’ for these properties,” he said.

Source :http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=business/jkh-build-hotels-nuwara-eliya-yala

Cinnamon Air introduces 9th scheduled destination, Bentota

Cinnamon Air, Sri Lanka’s premier domestic airline, announced the commencement of daily scheduled flights between Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport and Bentota, a popular tourist destination on the southwest coast of the island, from 1 November.

The inauguration of scheduled services to this ninth inland destination, once again along with code-share partners SriLankan Airlines, cements Cinnamon Air’s commitment to further developing the tourism infrastructure on the island by constantly evaluating and expanding its current scheduled route network.

The flights will be operated by Cinnamon Air’s luxurious eight-seater Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian aircraft which will set down on the Bentota River Water Aerodrome after a total journey time of 25 minutes, thereby affording customers travelling in either direction between the international airport and the coastal destination, a tremendous time saving.

Commenting on the introduction of the new scheduled services, Cinnamon Air Director Romesh David stated: “Consistent feedback received from many hoteliers in the region indicated that whilst road networks to the popular Bentota/Beruwala strip on the southwest coast have developed significantly after the Southern Expressway was opened, depending on the time of day most customers still spend anywhere from 2½ to five hours transferring between the airport and this resort area and vice-versa. The 25-minute air transfer option direct from and to the international airport will undoubtedly be a welcome and valuable enhancement to the popular offering of the many hotels and boutique properties on this part of the south coast.”

All Cinnamon Air scheduled flights operate in code share with SriLankan Airlines, consequent to which they are also be available for sale throughout the SriLankan Airlines network and all Travel Agents around the world via Global Distribution Systems, under a “UL” designated flight number.

Cinnamon Air completed one year of scheduled passenger operations on 1 July. In the past year, Cinnamon Air has carried over 4,000 passengers on 900 scheduled flights to eight regular destinations and operated over 175 charter flights to 20 destinations. 10 of the destinations served were water aerodromes, making Cinnamon Air the first domestic carrier to commercially serve such a diverse range of inland points in Sri Lanka and the only scheduled airline to do so out of Colombo’s international airport.

Cinnamon Air, owned and operated by Saffron Aviation Ltd., is a joint venture between Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate, John Keells Holdings, MMBL Leisure Holdings (a part of the Mercantile Merchant Bank Group) and Phoenix Ventures (parent of Phoenix Industries and the Brandix Group, Sri Lanka’s largest garment manufacturer).

The airline operates a fleet of two Cessna 208 amphibian aircraft and one Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft, with scheduled services to key inland points in Sri Lanka. Cinnamon Air also offers charter services to and between all Airports and Water Aerodromes in Sri Lanka.
The airline is based out of Katunayake where it operates a dedicated domestic terminal (within the precincts of the BIA) and also has its own purpose built hangar and maintenance facilities. Contact details: Reservations team, Tel: +94 112475475 or e-mail:

Source : http://www.ft.lk/2014/10/17/cinnamon-air-introduces-9th-scheduled-destination-bentota/

IWS Aviation launches domestic helicopter charter services

IWS Aviation Ltd. announced on Friday that it would commence domestic helicopter charter operations in Sri Lanka by the end of thisweek from its operational base in Ratmalana.

IWS will handle charter services with its Bell 206 B3 Jet Ranger helicopter, which has the capacity to seat up to seven passengers and offers air-conditioned comfort.

IWS Holdings Chairman Arthur Senanayake addressing the media. From left: IWS Aviation Ltd Sales and Operations Manager Roland Gunesekera, IWS Aviation Ltd Pilot Kapila Ratnasekera and IWS Aviation Ltd Engineering Manager Clarence Subasingha – Pic by Daminda Harsha Perera

Addressing a media conference held at the Kingsbury Hotel launching the new helicopter service, IWS Holdings Chairman I.W. Senanayake stated that he was excited to enter the domestic aviation network as the country was currently prospering and new corporate clients as well as tourists were coming in.
“We expect our service to be popular with business executives as well as with those in the leisure sector, as helicopter charter enables customers to land conveniently at hotel locations and places of interest,” he said.
Elaborating on the specific benefits of the helicopter service, Senanayake pointed out that unlike other popular means of air travel, this service allows flexibility as well as comfort.
Charter fees will depend on the destination and the time of travel while all prices have been set in US dollars. The service will cost $1360 per hour while overnight services will cost an additional $300. Despite the pricing, Senanayake believes that the benefits of a helicopter service will make it a viable option.

Bell 206 B3 Jet Ranger helicopter 

“When considering our competitors, we have a mid-ranged pricing for our services. But we offer more comfort and speed which will help us capture the market,” he said.
A sum of $2 million has been invested in this venture while Senanayake stated that he is confident that the investment will pay off with the market displaying plenty of potential.
Also speaking at the launch event, IWS Aviation Sales and Operations Manager Roland Gunesekere stated that the company hopes to offer domestic charter operations for private and VIP transfers, scenic flights, city hopping, special excursions, aerial surveys, photography and filming, international airport transfers (domestic) and news coverage.
He also stated that depending on the demand for the service, IWS intends on expanding this venture with the purchase of more helicopters.
The helicopter service will ideally be operational from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. subject to weather conditions which will be decided by the pilot at the time. IWS Aviation stated that it works closely with local travel agencies, which allows them to offer assistance to the customers with regards to additional transport requirements.
Bookings can be made directly with IWS Aviation via its website http://www.iwsaviation.com, its head office, all travel agents or its operational base located at the Ratmalana Airport.

Source :http://www.ft.lk/2014/10/13/iws-aviation-launches-domestic-helicopter-charter-services/

President opens Hotel Camron in Kurunegala

The newly constructed Tourist hotel “Hotel Camrol” in Kurunegala was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday.

According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the key focus for tourism industry for the next two years is to attract a number of 2.5 million arrivals by the end of 2016. Accordingly this newly constructed hotel with all facilities will contribute to achieve this objective of attracting 2.5 million tourists by 2016.
The Managing Director of Janahitha Group of Companies and CEO of Hotel Camrol B.C. Kandegedera were present on the occasion.


Source :http://www.ft.lk/2014/10/13/president-opens-hotel-camron-in-kurunegala/

Travel Lanka awarded Best Travel Magazine in Sri Lanka

Travel Lanka has been awarded the prize for the Best Travel Magazine in Sri Lanka, by the Chamber of Tourism and Industry, Sri Lanka.

In its 21st year of continuous publication, Travel Lanka is the only regularly updated Tourist Information Book in Sri Lanka, recognised by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and widely distributed in the country to serve tourists and stakeholders in the tourism industry.

The award was given at a special ceremony organised jointly by the Chamber of Tourism and Industry – Sri Lanka, and the Ministry of Tourism Industry – Eastern Province, held at the Hotel Pacific Grounds, Arugam Bay, as part of their program to celebrate World Tourism Day 2014.
The Chief Guest at the ceremony was Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Senior Minister of International Monetary Co-operation and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning. Other distinguished guests included Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister ALM Athaullah, Senior Minister for Food Security P. Dayaratne, Minister of Productivity Promotion Basher Segu Dawood and British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka John Rankin.

The award to Travel Lanka was presented to Piyarathna Hewabatage, Chairman, Heritage House & Pace Publishers, the publisher of the magazine.










Source : http://www.ft.lk/2014/10/13/travel-lanka-awarded-best-travel-magazine-in-sri-lanka/


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