Archive for June, 2013

Sri Lanka hotel show attracts foreign interest

A hotel supplies show in Sri Lanka has grown to be the largest in the South Asia amid a slew of new properties being developed in the country after the end of a 30-year is attracting increasing international attention, officials said.

The bi-annual show started in 1998, by alumni association of Ceylon Hotels School Graduates Association was made into an annual event from this year, following strong demand from exhibitors.

“The reason I believe is because there are so many properties – over 200 odd hotels – and some large chains coming in the demand is very high,” Imran Hassan head of Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services, which managing the event said.

Hassen said they usually had a year to sign up exhibitors after announcing the event but this year, after deciding to make it an annual event a 2013 event was announced in February instead of 2014 and stalls were sold out in six weeks.

Additional air conditioned marquees had to be arranged and they now had 250 exhibitors.

“I think this will be the biggest show away,”

Hassan said firms in premises and facilities management (swimming pools, convention facilties), furniture, tablewear, catering equipment and services, food and beverage, health, leisure, entertainment and IT will be exhibiting.

Large corporates from 14 countries including India, Thailand, UAE, Turkey were exhibiting this year.

Sri Lanka tourism development authority chief Bhashwara Senanka Gunarathna said the event had now become the largest in South Asia.

Organizers said with the potential of making it a top international event of its kind they are also making arrangements to attracting buyers from other countries including Maldives.

A culinary competition to choose Sri Lanka’s representative for Bocuse d’Or a top global cooking competition named after a Paul Bocuse, a renowned French chef will also take place during the show.

Last year Sri Lanka had made it into the one of four Asian nations to be included in the finals in France.

Those vying to represent Sri Lanka would be able to attend a workshop conducted by a former winner of Bocuse d’Or.

A bartenders’ completion will also take place and a street food style festival will also take place adding more colour and interest to make the event more attractive to visitors.


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Sri Lanka participates in BITE 2013 in China

Beijing International Travel Expo

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), along with 25 local travels agents and Hotels, has successfully participated in BITE 2013 (Beijing International Travel Expo) the largest international travel exhibition in China. The BITE 2013 was held at Beijing International Exhibition Centre, Beijing. This is the 10th consecutive year that SLTPB participates in BITE 2013.

Meanwhile, with the ambition of making the Sri Lankan stall more attractive, the SLTPB also took steps to take a dancing group along with the delegation to entertain the participants.The Sri Lankan stall at the BITE 2013, was a real eye catcher in the event. Its atmosphere, with traditional dancing performances was exceptional among the other stalls and the Sri Lankan stall was one of the most taken photographs in the event.

The Sri Lankan travel agents participated in this event are expected to meet 1000 of their counterparts, representing over 81 countries of the world.

The Sri Lankan stall at the BITE was opened on Friday (21`) by Ranjith Uyangoda, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the People’s Republic of China. Ms.Chen Hong – Vice Mayor,Beijing , Guo Jin Long – Party secretary, Communist Party of China, Wimal K. Arunampalam , the Minister Councilor – Sri Lanka Embassy  in Beijing also participated in this event.

The BITE 2013 will go on until the 23rd of this month and during the course of the event the SLTPB took steps to arrange Business Meetings, Exclusive Media Interviews and destination promotion presentations. Also, in cooperation with the Sri Lankan Embassy at Beijing, the SLTPB encouraged Sri Lankan businessmen to participate in this event.


As per the leadership and advice of  Basil Rajapaksa the Minister of Economic Development, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has arranged to hold the promotion campaigns in major cities of China. These events will mainly consist of Web Marketing, Bus Branding campaign, Three Day Joint Promotion campaign, Trade FAM tours, Visiting Journalists Programme and Social Media Networking. Chairman of SLTPB Bhashwara Gunarathna’s guidance too has been immense during the SLTPB’s China based campaigns.

By the end of 2013, the SLTPB expects 1.25 million arrivals from worldwide destinations and the expected turnout from China is 60,000 visitors.


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Cinnamon Lakeside’s Turkish cuisine takes diners to Ottoman Empire

A celebration of food and culture reigns supreme at The Dining Room when the Best Five Star City Hotel, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo and Turkish Airlines, Europe’s Best Airline for two years running, partner to present Turkish Cuisine at its star class restaurant.  Diners at the themed dinner are offered the chance to win prizes which include a return ticket to Istanbul courtesy of Turkish Airlines.


A Turkish theme colours the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo dinner buffet from 15 to 24 June 2013. The Dining Room is the hotel’s 24-hour restaurant known for serving top notch international cuisine.  The dinner buffet features varied themes each month much to the delight of regular diners.

Guest Chefs Umut Diren and Evren Altaylar are flown down from Istanbul by Turkish Airlines exclusively for the event.  They join Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo’s kitchen brigade headed by French Executive Chef Martin Becquart to present Turkish cuisine under the themes Istanbul Meyhane Cuisine, Ottoman Palace Cuisine and Anatolian Regional Cuisine.

Tapas style appetisers such as haydari, a condensed yogurt with mint and garlic, fava beans purée, carrot salad with garlic yoghurt, celery salad with walnut and garlic yoghurt, grilled eggplant purée, topik, an onion stuffed potato and chickpea purée, cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and chestnuts, cacik, a cucumber and yoghurt dip, Circassian chicken and muhammara, made from pound walnuts, tahini and red pepper paste together with hot appetisers serve to whet the diner’s appetite.
The dinner continues with à la minute preparations of pistachio kebabs, opium poppy kebabs, spicy kebabs, sardines in vine leaves,



monk fish skewers and shish kebabs as well as lamb stew with apricot and almonds, islim kebab, sauteed lamb in eggplant, hünkar beğendi, braised lamb with eggplant béchamel sauce, lamb tandir, roasted lamb shoulder with roasted cauliflower, quince dolmah, stuffed quinces with meat and rice stuffing, dane-i saru, saffron rice and kubuni rice, rice with nuts and dried fruits and stuffed squid amongst other lip smacking dishes.

Delicious desserts include keşkül-ü fukara, milk pudding with nuts, güllabiye halva, honey and almond halva, oven braised pear with thick syrup, şekerpare, baked soft pastry in thick syrup, tamarind sherbet, rose sherbet, saffron and rice pudding, flour halvah, milk pudding with fruit marmalade, oven braised quince with thick syrup, hoşaf, cold dry fruit stew, komposto, cold fresh fruit stew, semolina halva with cheese, oven baked rice pudding, oven braised pumpkin in thick syrup and revani, semolina cakes with syrup.  Dishes are alternated on a daily basis during the special promotion in order to offer diners a varied experience each time.
In addition to the Turkish Airlines’ grand prize of a return ticket to Istanbul, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo offers four lucky diners dining experiences along with bottles of bubbly as well as other prizes.  Turkish Airlines flies to over 231 destinations across the globe and will commence seven flights a week from Colombo beginning November 2013.  Pership Group, a sixth generation company founded in 1889, is the general sales agent of Turkish Airlines which began operations in Sri Lanka earlier this year.
The Turkish Cuisine Dinner will be available at The Dining Room from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. from the 15 to 24 June at the regular dinner price of Rs. 2,555 all inclusive.  Reservations are recommended and can be made on 112491930.

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Dr. Chandi scheduled in Sri Lanka for ‘Innovative Hotel Management for the Future’

The Sri Lankan hotel sector is in for a boost this year with Sri Lanka’s own leader in the international hospitality industry, Dr. Chandana (Chandi) Jayawardena, DPhil, MSc, CHE, FIH, billed to visit his motherland in June and July.
During his visit to Sri Lanka, Dr. Jayawardena is expected to conduct two training workshops for the hospitality sector in Colombo and Kandy. He will also offer a limited number of individually tailored consultations for hotels.


The forthcoming program in Sri Lanka is presented by Rainbow Resources Sri Lanka Ltd., (, a consultancy company led by communications specialist Manique Mendis. Tourism expert Priantha Fernando will be the national facilitator for Dr. Jayawardena’s program in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Jayawardena, who is now based in Canada, has emerged as a highly-sought-after trainer and consultant in the international hospitality industry. He has held senior management positions in South Asia, Middle East, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and North America and held accountability for budgets of $ 30 million, 700 employees and 3,300 students.

As an international hotelier he has served 34 heads of state/government, including Queen Elizabeth II, President Fidel Castro and Prime Minister John Major. He is a past President of the world’s largest professional association for hospitality managers – HCIMA (now the Institute of Hospitality, UK).  He has also conducted leadership workshops for Fallsview Casino in Canada, Four Point Sheraton – Kitchener in Canada, Aitken Spence Hotels in the Maldives and Dubai Sofitel in UAE and quality assurance assignments for Super Club Breezes in the Bahamas, Le Meridien Dubai in UAE and Le Meridien King Edward Hotel in Canada. He has travelled to 93 countries and presented at conferences, seminars and other forums in 38 of those countries. His publication record includes 17 books/journal issues and 91 articles.

Dr. Jayawardena’s workshops in Sri Lanka are scheduled for 28 and 29 June in Colombo at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management and in Kandy on 1 and 2 July at the Randholee Luxury Resort. The two-day training workshops will revolve around the theme of ‘Innovative Hotel Management for the Future’.
The program will commence by looking at lessons learned from the past and will move on to key issues under the topics of sustainability , marketing, quality, innovation and human resource development. It will also focus on challenges including crisis management and the way forward for the future.
The individual consultancies for hotels will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the relevant hotels. Some of the suggested areas are as follows: Comprehensive operational audit based strategic plan, change management, group SWOT, personality analysis (of each manager) competitor analysis, pricing, practical management tips and team work, team building through group art (a novel concept developed by Dr. Jayawardena)
Places for both workshops and time slots for the individual consultations are limited and are filling up fast. Therefore early registration is advisable.

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The Other Corner, Habarana Earns 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

The Other Corner, owned and managed by Starron Nature Resorts Ltd., announced that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award.
The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10% of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
“The Other Corner Habarana is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Shyami Dassenaieke. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”
Visit or call 0773 749904 for more information on The Other Corner.



Sri Lanka to promote tourism with Morocco and Thailand

Sri Lanka in a measure to strengthen the tourism industry has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in the field of tourism cooperation with Morocco and Thailand.

The cabinet of ministers Thursday approved a proposal made by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa to sign and ratify the respective agreements with the two countries.

The MoUs aim to further strengthen and consolidate the mechanism of co-operation in promoting tourism between Sri Lanka and the two countries -Morocco and Thailand which have proposed the conclusion of a MoU on cooperation in the field of Tourism, the government media said.

In the first four months of this year tourist arrivals from Thailand increased by 13.2 percent with 2,756 tourists arriving in the island.


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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf celebrates 50th anniversary

Sri Lanka’s premier specialty coffee and tea retailer, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) and part of the California based brand, international franchise network, marked its 50th anniversary with the launch of their heritage, premium and handcrafted beverages with a whole host of promotions and events.

The promotional drinks launched, were offered at a promotional price of Rs. 50 per drink, were mainly; Chai Tea Latte, English Toffee Latte and English Toffee Ice Blended drink during the 50th anniversary Open House Event recently at the flagship store, Maitland Crescent and Colombo fort store, World Trade Centre.

The management of the CBTL Sri Lanka, also joined hands to cut a celebratory cake and unveil the CBTL single serve beverage system that allows you to prepare your favourite espresso, brewed coffee, brewed tea and delicious specialty beverages the CBTL has become famous for, easily at home or office with one touch, one perfect cup. Born and brewed in Southern California since 1963, the CBTL is the oldest and largest privately held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States.

Since opening our first café in Brentwood, California they have always been passionate about connecting loyal customers with carefully handcrafted products. The brand has more than 900 stores globally, and each day serves more than 100 million coffee and beverages worldwide in stores that epitomise the essence of the Southern Californian lifestyle.   As the business grew, flavour and handcrafted beverages became cornerstones of the brand, including custom blended and roasted coffee varieties.

These personalised roasts were used in creating some of the blends that are still popular today.  The cafe’s commitment to quality extends from seed to cup we’ve built relationships with the best coffee farms and private tea estates around the world, selecting only the top 1% Arabica beans and hand plucked, whole leaf tea. They’ve also created delicious innovations like The Original Ice Blended drink and the Chai Tea Latte. Now, 50 years later, the café’s connections to local communities have expanded to hundreds of cafes around the world. Their consistent dedication to serving premium coffee, tea and our signature beverage; The Original Ice Blended drink, had successfully gained confidence and assurance towards the café’s premium quality beverages among their loyal customers all over the world. The CBTL in Sri Lanka has their flagship store in Maitland Crescent/Horton Place, Colombo 7 Fort, The World Trade Centre, and Katunayake Airport with brewing soon in K-zone Ja-ela and many more stores to come, a award winning grade ‘A’ store 2013 by Colombo Municipal council.

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