SriLankan’s Colombo-Melbourne direct flight boosts inbound arrivals from Down Under

National carrier SriLankan Airlines’ Colombo-Melbourne direct flight has reversed the trend of declining passenger traffic into Sri Lanka.

Despite Australia being home to a  large Sri Lankan diaspora and student community, passenger arrivals into Sri Lanka were on the decline in 2017, with one of the prime reasons being the lack of direct flights from Colombo to Australia. This status quo was improved by SriLankan Airlines’ strategic launch of its direct daily flights from Colombo to Melbourne last last year.

The route has already registered a profit within a short period of less than six months, demonstrating its potential as one of the fastest break-even and profit-making routes in the airline’s network. There has been a tangible upward surge in tourists arrivals from Australia since October 2017, when the direct flight was launched. Arrivals rose by as much as 26% during the launch month and progressively since. A month prior to the launch, tourists arrivals from Australia were recording negative growth.

Commenting on the performance, SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Suren Ratwatte said: “We are delighted to fulfil a long-felt need for a direct flight from Colombo to Melbourne. The tireless efforts of the airline’s marketing and commercial teams have made a significant contribution to this success. The daily nonstop flights between Colombo and Melbourne are witnessing high traffic with customers reporting satisfaction at being able to undertake the flight without long layovers which not only reduces flying time but also enable travellers to arrive at their destinations refreshed. Following the success of this strategic decision, we will explore opportunities, for example, between Colombo and Sydney and other destinations in Australia.”

SriLankan is a member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance. SriLankan offers convenient connections to 14 cities throughout India, nine in the Middle East and other destinations such as Male and Gan Island in the Maldives, and Seychelles. SriLankan also operates one-stop twice-daily services between Sri Lanka and Australia with its codeshare partners Qantas and Malaysia Airlines.

Launched in 1979, Sri Lanka’s national carrier is an award-winning airline with a solid reputation for service, comfort, safety, reliability and punctuality. The airline provides convenient connections to its global route network of 94 destinations in 44 countries. SriLankan Airlines is the proud recipient of a number of awards in the airline industry. The awards hail from a number of prestigious aviation research agencies and travel magazines across the globe.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/SriLankan-s-Colombo-Melbourne-direct-flight-boosts-inbound-arrivals-from-Down-Under/27-649380

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Sri Lanka participates in International Mediterranean Tourism Market in Israel

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tel Aviv, organised and coordinated the participation of Sri Lanka in the 24th International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM 2018), which was held from 6-7 February at the Tel Aviv Convention Centre in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The IMTM is the largest annual professional official exhibition for the tourism market in Israel, which promotes and focuses both domestic and foreign tourism as well as strengthening cooperation among tourism bodies in Israel and elsewhere in the world. Sri Lanka has been participating in the above market regularly.

The Sri Lankan pavilion was jointly declared open with the cutting of a ribbon by Ambassador Periyasamy Pillai Selvaraj and Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, in the presence of SLTPB Assistant Director Ajantha Rathnayake, Embassy officials, Sri Lankan tour companies and Israeli visitors.

The main objective of the participation of Sri Lanka was to create awareness and portray the beauty of the paradise island among Israeli tourists.

Sri Lanka was represented by leading tour companies such as Aitken Spence Travels Ltd, Deluxe Vacations Ltd, Amaya Resorts & Spas, Hayleys Tours Ltd, Nawamini Travels Ltd, Saffron Island Destination Management Ltd, World Travel Centre Colombo Ltd and NKAR Travels & Tours Ltd.

The Sri Lankan booth attracted many visitors and Ceylon Tea was served to the visitors. In addition, a documentary film on Sri Lanka’s beauty was continuously displayed on both days.

Sri Lanka is a popular destination for Israeli tourists, especially for surfing, and their numbers are increasing. According to the IMTM organisers, 50 countries participated in the exhibition and approximately 25,500 visitors visited the exhibition centre.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/Sri-Lanka-participates-in-International-Mediterranean-Tourism-Market-in-Israel/27-649382

Ironman 70.3 Colombo to attract $ 3 m revenue for tourism industry

  • SL all set to host first South Asian Ironman 70.3, expects over 3,000 visitors
  • 880 registered participants from 64 countries, 26% of competitors from Sri Lanka
  •  SLTPB provides Rs. 30 m title sponsorship for the event, believes this will pave the way for many such events in the near future
  • Organisers Pro-Am Serendib says Sri Lanka could be promoted as destination for multi-sports and endurance events
  • Over 500 volunteers and 300 policemen and Navy personnel deployed to ensure event safety 

By Charumini de Silva

The first-ever South Asian Ironman 70.3 triathlon event is all set to be staged in Sri Lanka on 25 February, with over $ 3 million in revenue expected from the 3,000 high-spending visitors the event is anticipated to draw.

“With expectations to attract high-profile participants and families during the period between 22 and 25 February, whom we think will spend seven to eight days in the country, the sporting event will generate revenue close to $ 3 million,” Pro Am Serendib Director Yasas Hewage said at a media briefing in Colombo yesterday.

Noting that there were 880 registered participants for the triathlon from 64 countries, official licencee of the IronMan global triathlon brand in Sri Lanka, Pro-Am Serendib, said it had to limit the number of participants to 880 as it needed to maintain the standards of the international sporting event.

“We would love to have around 1,000 participants, but we need to maintain standards and ensure the safety of participants,” he added.

It was pointed out that over 850 registrations were completed two months prior to the main event. Sri Lanka’s ‘Wonder of Asia’ Ironman 70.3 Colombo was oversubscribed, which is a significant achievement for an inaugural event, demonstrating confidence in Sri Lanka as a destination for multi-sports and endurance events.

He said sports tourism could be a thrust sector for Sri Lanka’s economy going forward, with major events of this nature happening throughout the year in all corners of the country.

“All of these participants will take Colombo to the world. As a country we are blessed with an unlimited supply of sunshine and unsurpassed beauty. Now with the many and varied visitors coming to our country we hope to show our Sri Lankan hospitality and hope to show more people from across the globe what makes Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia,” Hewage pointed out.

The triathlon will start with a 1.9 km open water swim off Galle Face Green, followed by a three-lap flat 90 km bike leg past the Colombo Port and along Marine Drive, ending with a 21.1 km run finishing at Galle Face Green.

The top six participating countries for Ironman 70.3 Colombo are India with 133 triathletes, the United Kingdom with 76, France with 47, Australia with 34, the US with 30 and Singapore with 26.

Hewage added that most of these participants are highly qualified lawyers, doctors, engineers and accountants who will spend lavishly, along with their family members, during their stay in Colombo.

Pro Am Serendib Event Director Rajan Thananayagam said Sri Lanka could be promoted as a sports vacation destination.

“We were very keen on having over 20% Sri Lankan participation at this international race and we are happy to note that 26% are from our country, which includes a vedda and a visually impaired triathlete. There are so many inspiring individuals participating,” he stressed.

Highlighting that the safety of international and local Ironman 70.3 triathletes was of paramount importance, with proactive safety measures being established, Thananayagam said that over 500 volunteers and 300 policemen and Navy personnel were being deployed for the event.

He said the top 30 participants would have the opportunity to qualify for a spot at the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa.

Emphasising that the country had lost its time to shine in the tourism industry due to various reasons, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramanium stressed it was important for the nation to catch up with the unorthodox promotions that came its way.

“Sri Lanka missed many opportunities and it is high time we promote the destination not only through traditional methods but also through other non-traditional platforms as well,” he added.

He believes that the Ironman 70.3 Colombo will pave the way for more such events to take shape in Sri Lanka in the near future.

“This is an opportunity for people to see what more Sri Lanka can offer apart from a sun-and-sand holiday destination. As the majority of the participants of the race are high income earners, they can also explore foreign direct investment opportunities in the country,” he stated.

Balasubramanium also urged the Colombo city hotels, restaurants and places of entertainment to give their fullest support for the city to come alive with the best hospitality services, which in turn would influence many more tourists to come to Sri Lanka.

According to him, the SLTPB has come forward with a Rs. 30 million title sponsorship for the event.

As Sri Lanka is diversifying its offering with sporting events of this nature, Pro Am Serendib Director Julian Bolling outlined that the company aimed to provide energy which helped bring the country’s communities together.

“We have many triathletes with unique profiles; each person has their own story as to why they are challenging themselves. I am certain the emotions of the event and the inspiration of the setting will create an experience that participants will want to have again and again,” he said.

Ironman 70.3 is organised by Pro Am Serendib and made possible by title sponsor SLTPB. The host hotel for Ironman 70.3 Colombo is Shangri-La Colombo, the official apparel partner is MAS, the official electronic media partner is MTV/MBC Group, the official logistics partner is Hayleys Advantis, the official insurer is Ceyllinco VIP,  the official tea partner is Dilmah, the official wellness partner is Siddhalepa, the official medical partner is Asiri Health, the official car partner is Land Rover, the official travel partner is Hayleys Tours, the official print media partner is the Wijeya Group, the official nutrition partner is SIS, the official outdoor media partner is Emerging Media, the official bike mechanic is Spinner and the official swimming training partner is Rainbow Swimming.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/front-page/Ironman-70-3-Colombo-to-attract—3-m-revenue-for-tourism-industry/44-649404

The Mall at One Galle Face aims to transforms Sri Lanka’s retail landscape

  • One Galle Face is the place where life, work and play meet, offering something for every member of Colombo’s vibrant community

The Mall at One Galle Face recently celebrated a project milestone of partnering with their Anchor Tenants with a signing ceremony that introduced the city’s premier luxury lifestyle destination.

The signing ceremony was graced by the four Anchor Tenants of The Mall – Odel Plc, Keells Super, Food Studio and PVR Cinemas, along with representatives of Shangri-La Hotels Lanka Ltd., business partners, media and other esteemed guests.

The ceremony saw each Anchor tenant being given a golden brick as a symbol of their partnership at Colombo’s premier luxury lifestyle destination.

The Mall is a part of One Galle Face – Colombo’s first internationally developed and managed mixed-used development project by Shangri-La group and is scheduled to open its doors to the public during the second quarter of 2019. With its prime oceanfront location and unprecedented scale and quality, this fully integrated development is destined to become the pride of Colombo.

The development consists of two residential towers, an office tower, a mall and a hotel. The Residences at One Galle Face promise stunning views from sunrise to sunset as well as lush landscaping, tranquil interiors and an exclusive residents club. The Offices at One Galle Face offer 600,000 square feetof premium office space and world-class facilities in the centre of Colombo. Shangri-La Hotel Colombo is a prestigious addition to the five-star hotels in the city and offers guests the legendary hospitality and warmth of the world-renowned Shangri-La Group. Currently, close to 70% of The Residences have been sold whilst more than half of the retail space at The Mall has already been leased out and The Offices have recently been opened for leasing.

The Mall at One Galle Face is the place where life, work and play meet, offering something for everyone. From home-grown brands to international high-street favourites, this contemporary shopping mall and lifestyle destination offers alfresco dining on the rooftop, more than 40 food and beverage outlets, a food hall dedicated for the busy individuals, a street market bazaar, largest indoor playground for the younger visitors and 250 retail stores spanning over 480,000 square feet.

The Mall will also introduce several new to market brands such as Chili’s – an American casual dining restaurant chain that features Tex-Mex-style cuisine, Oporto – grilled chicken from Australia,  The Toy Store – a renowned toy store from Dubai and designer wear by world renowned brands such as Diesel, Michael Kors, Armani Exchange and Emporio Armani. The state-of-the-art mini cinema complex comprising of nine cinemas, including a dedicated kid’s cinema will also be the first in the country. These cinemas will be operated by one of the giants in the entertainment industry – PVR Cinemas.

The four Anchor Tenants of the Mall who were felicitated at the signing ceremony are all powerhouses in their own right, offering the best retail and luxury experiences for their customers. Odel PLC is a publicly listed retail company, the first in Sri Lanka and is also the first department store in the country. Odel’s product mix contains more than 1,500 different items, with a majority of those sourced locally.

Keells Super is one of the pioneering supermarket chains in the country. Keells Super will be opening their first ever gourmet supermarket at The Mall at One Galle Face, creating a whole new chapter in the supermarket industry in Sri Lanka.

Food Studio is a one-of-a-kind international food court concept whose partnership with The Mall at One Galle Face is set to change Colombo’s culinary landscape. Food Studio will introduce Sri Lankans to a new, unique food court concept by offering an array of cuisines, from fine dining to street-style food.

PVR Ltd. is the largest and the most premium film exhibition company in India and its partnership with The Mall at One Galle Face will be its first foray into Sri Lanka. The Mall is excited to have PVR operating the largest state-of-the-art cinema complex in Sri Lanka with nine screens under one roof.

The Mall at One Galle Face envisions itself as the life and soul of the city, offering a luxury retail paradise and immersing shoppers in a world-class retail offering for the first time in Sri Lanka.

One Galle Face – a prestigious project by Shangri-La Group.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/front-page/The-Mall-at-One-Galle-Face-aims-to-transforms-Sri-Lanka-s-retail-landscape/44-649509

Ciello launches gallery and introduces cutting-edge European technology to Sri Lanka

Ciello, a disruptive new start-up has entered the local market with the aim of changing the way spaces are created in Sri Lanka. For the first time, clients won’t need to travel overseas to create their dream designer space, as Ciello has made it possible to access cutting-edge European printing technology in Colombo. The company, which was established in 2015, promises to offer its clientele a whole new experience when it comes to interior and exterior design solutions.

The studio-cum-gallery, which officially opened to the public on 12 January, has been carefully curated to showcase the power of the imagination and what Director Rohan Paulas hopes, will ‘awaken the creative talents of its clients’. The studio, located on Nawala Road, houses Ciello’s design and sales teams as well as their own gallery space that exhibits the wide range of colours, textures and effects that their technology can achieve. Their repertoire of rapid-delivery services includes bespoke feature walls, swimming pools, kitchen backsplashes and HD prints of artwork and photographs.

Ciello sets itself apart from the myriad of designer showrooms and studios by offering bespoke design and print services on a range of surfaces, including: glass, ceramic, wood and fibre cement. Another core differentiator of the brand is their on-site, on-demand printing facility, which allows customers to touch and feel a finished product within a matter of days, instead of waiting weeks for a shipment to be delivered.

Since inception they have successfully delivered a variety of spaces, from hotel lobby feature walls and corporate lift facades to designer pools. Ciello’s 360° approach allows customers create, refine, design and print, all from the convenience of a single location. This makes the product completely customisable and encourages more individuals to ‘unleash their imagination’.

Using patented printing technology from Italy, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and South Asia, Ciello is able to transfer high-resolution images onto semi-porous surfaces such as ceramic tiles. The end result is a product that lasts as long as the surface it’s been printed on, and in the case of a typical ceramic tile that’s, 10-20 years. Ciello’s ceramic solutions are also fully water and heat resistant, scratch proof and suitable for outdoors or indoors.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/propertyconstruction/Ciello-launches-gallery-and-introduces-cutting-edge-European-technology-to-Sri-Lanka/10516-649508

 

Renowned Russian singer Vladimir Markin to perform in Sri Lanka

World renowned Russian Singer Vladimir Markin is to perform in Sri Lanka for the first time on 17 February at 5 p.m. at the Russian Centre Auditorium.

Markin is a Russian pop singer, entrepreneur, composer and songwriter who is credited with having over 50 famous songs that have hit records globally. His compositions include; I’m ready to kiss the sand, Kolokola, The bells, Purple haze, Koroleva, Ol’ga, I am ready to kiss, splinter, Cheremuha, Ivolga and so forth.

Belaya cheremuha, Ya Gotov Zelovat’ Pesok, Sirenevy tuman, Super radio, Domovoy, Gimn Alushti, Tvoi Glaza, Belaya cheremukha and Golubi are also a few of his other hits that have contributed towards his colossal accomplishments.

He will be performing these sensational singles for all music lovers across the country and the concert will be followed by cocktails afterwards. His songs are entrusted to soothe the soul with melodious tunes. Entrance is free for all music enthusiasts.

Known for his powerful performances and potent voice, he is also an immensely talented guitarist and he will be playing the guitar in his performance here in Sri Lanka.

Alongside his successful music career, Markin is also a member of the municipal Assembly District Vykhino-Zhulebino in Moscow hailing from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

The event is expected to be an ostentatious and exciting one that will rock the crowd to the beat of his harmonies and make the gathering sway to the delicate yet truly charming patterns of strumming.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/entertainment-sectors/Renowned-Russian-singer-Vladimir-Markin-to-perform-in-Sri-Lanka/10405-649523

Thalduwa Island Villas opens at Ahangama

Thalduwa Island Villas, a boutique hotel opened at Ahangama, recently adding another luxury property to the Sri Lanka travel catalogue.

Owned by a consortium of local and foreign owners the total investment for the four Villa project that offers accommodation for over 20 was US. $ 3.5 million. A unique feature of the Thalduwa Island Villas, is that the four investors have built the four Villas and furnished them on different themes.

The investors are Nilanga Alwis, Tony Husseini, Alastair Macdonald Tomas Clausen and Stephen Cogill.

Managing Director Nilanga Alwis, said that they have four villas, Karmel Villa, Sisila Villa, T Villa and Vador Villa offering different themes and prices. Villas are available with three, four, or five bedrooms. “Laid on a five acre property each villa is self-catering with its own kitchen, butler, separate dining area, TV Lounge and other own separate parking.” Each villa has spacious and elegant living and terrace areas, is furnished and decorated comfortably in the colonial style, and has its own service team.

“While each villa is secluded, with its own swimming pool and spacious pavilion for outdoor tropical living, the other villas are sufficiently close for a larger group to occupy two villas and stay close by.”

General Manager Sameera Dias said that each villa, is built facing the Goviyapana River. “We also have excursions to nearby places of interest and also offer special river safari and even offers meals on board the large boat.”

“We also make provision for guests to travel to the nearby beach and relax.”

He said that their main market is from Europe and there is growing demand from Gulf traveler due to its unique location which offers privacy. “We also have growing demand from ‘honey mooners’

He said that they do not want Thalduwa Island Villas, being only offered to foreigners and are extending special offers to Sri Lankans as well with special rates. “We can even offer the entire villa or even separate rooms.”

Source : http://dailynews.lk/2018/02/20/business/143295/thalduwa-island-villas-opens-ahangama