Archive for May, 2013

Sri Lanka’s Sigiriya and Dolphin Hotels sprucing up

Hotel Sigiriya Plc in central Sri Lanka and Club Dolphin Hotel on the Western Coast are being refurbished, the companies said.

Club Hotel Dolphin, a part of Sri Lanka‘s Hemas group will be closed from May to October 2013, the company said in a stock exchange filing. Hotel Sigiriya will be closed from May to June 30.

From May when Sri Lanka’s South Western monsoon season starts Western European arrivals start to drop off, though the Eastern Coastal resorts remain sunny.

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A 2.6 million US dollar ‘eco-friendly’ hotel will be built in Veyangoda town, Sri Lanka‘s state investment promotion agency said.

Coco Agro Hotels (Pvt) Ltd plans to build a 4-star class hotel with a 700-person conference centre which they expect to completion date 2014, the Board of Investment, which gives tax holidays said.

An agreement was signed by Coco Agro Hotels managing director Kapila Nishantha Abeysekera and BOI director general Lakshman Jayaweera on May 09.

The hotel is being promoted by coir export firm and is about 30 minutes travel time from the international airport in Katunayake.


Source :$2.6mn_hotel/1163630115

Tentative dates of the Kandy Esala Perahera 2013

The Sacred Tooth Relic (Dālada) of the Buddha is the most venerated object of worship for Buddhists. Its present house, the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Dālada Māligāwa) in Kandy, Sri Lanka is considered the foremost sacred place of worship in the Buddhist world.

Tentative dates of the
Kandy Esala Perahera 2013:
11th – 21st August 2013

Date Event
2013-08-05 Kapsituvima (Planting of the ‘Kapa’)
2013-08-05 to 2013-08-08 Internal Perahera of Four Devales
2013-08-11 1st Kumbal Perahera
2013-08-12 2nd Kumbal Perahera
2013-08-13 3rd Kumbal Perahera
2013-08-14 4th Kumbal Perahera
2013-08-15 5th Kumbal Perahera
2013-08-16 1st Randoli Perahera
2013-08-17 2nd Randoli Perahera
2013-08-18 3rd Randoli Perahera
2013-08-19 4th Randoli Perahera
2013-08-20 5th Randoli Perahera
2013-08-21 Day Perahera (Water Cutting Ceremony “Diya Kepeema”)


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Sri Lanka Tourism celebrates ‘Avurudu’ with tourists

Under the theme of ‘Sri Lanka Hospitality 2013’, Sri Lanka Tourism celebrated Sinhala and Hindu New year (Avurudu) at Negombo beach (opposite Hotel Camelot) recently. The celebration was rich with Sinhala and Hindu ‘Avurudu’ rituals, which are exclusively found in Sri Lanka.

Negombo Avurudu 1

Under the guidance of Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has already taken steps to provide exposure of unique Sri Lankan culture and rituals to the world and thereby to convey the message that Sri Lanka is a very positive destination. The ‘Avurudu’ celebrations were also done with this purpose.

The selection of ‘Avurudu Kumara’ and ‘Avurudu Kumari’ or the New Year Prince and Princess, among the events, was the most eye-catching event. Miss Yevegenia Kotenko from Russia and Shota Kiladze from Russia secured ‘Avurudu Kumari’ and ‘Avurudu Kumara’ titles respectively, for the year 2013. The event also offered the experience of ‘Avurudu’ sports to the participants who enjoyed pillow fighting, tug of war, bursting of balloons and climbing the grease pole and marking the eye on elephant and so on.

All the foreign visitors to the event were warmly welcomed according to Sinhalese rituals and they were entertained with cultural performances and the beat of the ‘Rabana’. They were also provided a chance to see how ‘Kevum’ or oil cakes are cooked and to taste such freshly cooked oil cakes. The guidance and the advice of SLTPB Chairman, Bashwara Gunarathna was highly important in making this event a colorful one. Western Province Tourist Board Chairman, Claude Thomas also played a major role in organizing this event. Other than the SLTPB and Western Province Tourist Board, Negombo Hoteliers Association, Sri Lanka Travel Journalist’s Association also took part in organizing this event. The support extended by Sri Lanka Police, Negombo Tourist taxi drivers Association and three wheelers Associations is commendable.

Western Province Tourism Minister, Nimal Lanza, was the Chief Guest and SLTPB Managing Director Rumy Jauffer, Western Province Tourist Board Chairman Claude Thomas, SLTPB Board Member Mervin Fernandopulle participated as Chief Guests at this event.


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SriLankan Airlines partners with World Travel Awards

SriLankan Airlines, the national airline of Sri Lanka, has become an event partner with the World Travel Awards for the first ever Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony, to be held in the Maldives this Sunday.

The Black tie event will be held on May 12 at the Paradise Island Resort in the Lankanfinolhu of North Male’ Atoll.

SriLankan Airlines head of worldwide sales, Lal Perera, has said the Airline considers it a privilege to be associated with the World Travel Awards, which, according to Breaking Travel News, is widely acknowledged as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ and is seen as a premier networking event for industry professionals from all over the world.

“SriLankan Airlines considers it a privilege to be associated with the World Travel Awards as an event partner on this memorable occasion, which coincides with Maldives celebrating forty triumphant years in Tourism Promotion,” Perera has said.

SriLankan Airlines, and its predecessors, Air Ceylon and Air Lanka have been operating to the Maldives since the 1970s.

“SriLankan Airlines has transported more passengers to and from the Maldives than any other airline and in addition to Male; we are currently considering operating to Gan Island as well,” Perera has added.

Sion Rapson, global business director, World Travel Awards, has said that SriLankan continues to be a major driving force as a carrier in the region, and is extremely proactive in their commitment towards tourism in the Indian Ocean and Maldives.


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Six Jetwing hotels receive ISO 14001 certification from SLSI

Jetwing Hotels, long known for its commitment towards the environment, achieved a new milestone — being awarded ISO 14001 certification for six of its properties in Sri Lanka.

Jetwing St. Andrew’s,

The Sri Lanka Standards Institution, or SLSI, awarded the certificates in a ceremony organised at Jetwing Sea, Negombo last week, the hotel group said.

The hotels are Jetwing Blue, recently rated as a 5 star resort, Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, Jetwing Lighthouse, a member of Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) of the World, Jetwing Sea; now a 4 star rated resort and Jetwing Vil Uyana, another member of SLH; all of which join Jetwing Beach, which was certified in 2011 as being up to ISO 14001.

“With Jetwing Blue, Jetwing Sea, Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, Jetwing Lighthouse and Jetwing Vil Uyana being awarded ISO14001, we have achieved quite a milestone indeed. Seven of our 16 properties are now certified, and it is a great honour to have our efforts recognised according to international standards,” said Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing Hotels. “Our engineering and hotel teams constantly work hard to live up to our reputation for being a company that is green, and we thank them for their efforts as we can only go further ahead from here,” he noted.

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Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up by 7.7 percent in March

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 7.7 percent in March this year compared to the same period last year, the data released today by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

The month recorded 98,155 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 91,102 arrived in March 2012.

Tourist arrivals recorded a 10.9 percent increase in the first three months of this year with 288,798 tourists arriving in the island.

Overall arrivals from North America rose 8.3 percent to 15,306 this year. Arrivals form US rose 21.5 percent during the first three months of 2013 while arrivals from Canada declined 4.7 percent.

Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 129,127 during the first three months, a 12.6 percent increase from the 114,674 tourists arrived in the same period last year.

Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 16.4 percent with the arrival of 26,936 tourists while tourist arrivals from Middle East increased by 3.4 percent.

Arrivals from South Asia up to March increased by 3.6 percent with 57,349 tourists visiting the island. Arrivals from India declined 4.4 percent reflecting the anti Sri Lankan campaign in the Tamil Nadu state of India.

Sri Lanka fulfilled its target of one million tourist arrivals last year and earned over US$ 1 billion from tourism. The country targets 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016.

Since the end of the war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in May 2009, the country has seen steady rise in tourist arrivals every year for the past four years


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