Archive for October, 2014

Colombo welcomes first Hong Kong non-stop flight





On 27 October 2014 at 23:30 hrs Cathay Pacific Airways welcomed the first ever scheduled non-stop flight from Hong Kong. Flight CX 611 from Hong Kong was greeted with a water cannon salute to mark an important milestone in the history of aviation between the two countries. The arriving crew were greeted with flowers, followed by a cake cutting ceremony.
Check-in for CX 610 to Hong Kong on the same evening was opened with the traditional lamp lighting ceremony. The ceremonial lamp was lit by invitees from Airport Management, Ground Handling Agent – Sri Lankan Airlines, Anna Choi, Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives as well as the first passenger to check-in for the flight.
“CX has been operating in Sri Lanka for over twenty years and today marks an important milestone for us as we celebrate the launch of the first ever direct flight between the two cities. We are confident that our customers would now enjoy their experience even more with our new in-flight products, shorter flying times and new and improved connections to many more destinations across our network,” says Anna Choi.


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Sinhaputhra offers outdoor capsule sleepers














Sinhaputra Finance PLC has diversified into the budget tourism sector with the introduction of capsule sleepers made popular in Japan with wide usage in different parts of the world. This concept involves a sleeping capsule built into a concrete Hume pipe, complete with bedding, air-conditioning and a finished interior with easy access to common usage facilities. The five capsules are designed for single accommodation but may accommodate a couple. These capsule sleepers can be assembled in 10 days at any locality in Sri Lanka for a down payment of Rs. 50,000 and monthly installment of Rs. 15,000 for 60 months.

This type of accommodation is well-suited for home stays located in high demand tourist locations where home-cooked meals and common toilet and shower facilities are available.  The capsule system is bundled with online booking assistance from Sinhaputhra IT using various online reservation systems available worldwide. A complete system may be viewed at Sinhaputhra Finance PLC head office at 11 Hill Street Kandy.

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Oman Times hails Sri Lanka’s tourism success

‘Oman times’ in their edition on 21 October 2014, praised Sri Lanka’s success in tourism development stating that there has been a growth of 72 percent this year so far in the number of Omanis visiting Sri Lanka.

ENTERTAINMENT BY SRI LANKAN DANCERSThe newspaper went on to describe tourism success with arrival details and future potential for Sri Lanka

The article appeared i n t his prestigious publication among the others , after Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), SriLankan Airlines together with travel industry members of Sri Lanka concluded a successful promotional tour in Middle East, from October 19 to 21.

The Middle East road show touched key cities such as Muscat, Abu Dhabi And Dubai where presentations and Business meetings were held, conducting a presentation and number of one to one meetings about the Sri Lanka tourism offering for MICE and latest attractions and developments in the Country. Specialized MICE operators viz Golden Isle, Lanka Sportrizen, Lux Asia, Mount Lavinia Hotel, Nkar Travels, Sunway Holidays and Visit Lanka joined the Middle East tour from Sri Lanka travel trade.

Sri Lankan team was led and main presentation was done by the Senior Manager of SLCB Achini Dandunnage while the event was graced by M.M. Abdul Raheem, Consul General of Sri Lanka, Dubai & Northern Emirates, Angelo Punchihewa, Country Manager Sri Lankan Airlines Dubai, Sudath Kuruppu Area Manager Abu Dhabi N.L.A Haleen Charge d’ Affairs in Oman and Country Manager Sri Lankan Deepal Pallegangoda.

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SriLankan and Qantas codeshare mulls tourism boost

A new codeshare agreement between Sri Lanka’s national carrier SriLankan Airlines and Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas Airways announced i n September2014, came into effect from the 26th of October, paving the way for i ncreased t ourism potential between Sri Lanka and Australia.

Passengers travelling to/from Australia on Qantas will have the opportunity of connecting to/from SriLankan Airlines’ thrice daily service from Singapore to Colombo.

SriLankan will offer its customers travelling t o Australia via its common gateway in Singapore, the benefit of connecting to Qantas’ daily services between Singapore and Brisbane and Melbourne and its double daily services to Sydney.

Passengers can now enjoy the convenience of a single ticket, interlined luggage and earn frequent flyer miles all the way in both directions.

The new codeshare agreement is expected to be a boon for the large Sri Lankan expatriate community in Australia, who could avail themselves of the enhanced connectivity and convenience of travel when visiting friends and family in Sri Lanka.

SriLankan has recently increased flights to Singapore from twice daily to thrice daily and as a result passengers to/from Australia will now have very good connectivity when they choose to use these codeshare flights. SriLankan will now be operating 28 services a week to Australiaby virtue of this codeshare operation.

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Asia Pacific travel:

The glittering Sri Lankan Pavilion attracted the attention of over 8,000 visitors from over 80 countries who participated at the opening day of the ITB Asia trade and aviation fair that commenced yesterday. Spearheaded by the Sri Lankan Tourism Bureau, the Sri Lankan stand stood strong and made a huge mark among scores of international buyers and sellers. Speaking at the event Nino Gruttke speaking to Daily News Business said ITB Asia has become the most popular travel show in the world. Picture by Fizel Ja

Asia Pacific to muster 40% Global Business Travel spend in 2014

Global business travel spend is expected to reach a record US$1.18 trillion by 2014, with nearly 40% coming from Asia Pacific. These details were revealed at the opening press conference of ITB Asia 2014, ‘the Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market’ held in Singapore yesterday.

According to the outlook report of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which released latest figures from its Business Travel Index (BTI)China is likely to out class America in 2014. In 2013 China spent US $ 225 billion global business travel spend against Americas spend of US$ 274.

The three day travel trade event which began yesterday with a strong Sri Lankan presence at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. ITB Asia, which is now in its seventh year, is expecting close to 750 exhibitors. The show has seen strong support from the businesses travel segment and an increase in international representation with exhibitors from 76 countries and regions.

Exhibitors showing a strong presence this year include the Spain Tourism Board, Brand USA as well as the Philippines Tourism Board and Indonesia’s flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, both of which have increased booth space by 200% and 300% respectively. This year also sees the strongest buyer participation to-date, with 14% more buyers compared to 2013.

“The evolution of the business travel sector in Asia Pacific is leading key industry players from across the world to focus more intensely on this market. At ITB Asia, we hope to leverage this strong growth and maintain our position as the region’s main marketplace for business travel opportunities,” said Christian Göke, CEO Messe Berlin, organiser of ITB Asia. “The MICE sector in particular is growing exceptionally, accounting for over half of the total business travel market. It is a very resilient segment that is outpacing traditional corporate travel. ITB Asia aims to deliver pertinent insights on these key industry opportunities to help delegates leverage the potential,” Göke said.

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SL and Zhongshan, China tourism bureaus sign deal for cooperation

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Zhongshan Municipal Tourism Bureau of China recognising the importance of further tourism promotion on friendly exchanges and cooperation between Sri Lanka and Zhongshan City in China on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the tourism promotional initiatives between the two parties.

The parties agree to enhance mutual understanding and friendship through strengthening regular information exchanges, support each other’s tourism promotion events to increase popularity of tourism destinations, promote and organise local tourists to visit each other’s cities, commence regular/charter flights to Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake and Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport at Mattala and  to enhance mutual understanding and friendship through strengthening regular information exchanges, holding meetings and publishing tourism information through each other’s websites and magazines.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in this regard by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Bashwara Gunarathna and Zhongshan Municipal Tourism Deputy Director General Dong Zuwen during a press conference held at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo. The China- Sri Lanka Friendship Association has coordinated the event between the two countries in order to make it a success.
The two parties expressed their views highlighting that the newly signed agreement has put the foundation to a greater travel and tourism development between China and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has already become a popular travel destination among Chinese travellers. The new agreement will further enhance the travel and tourism opportunities and increasing the number of Chinese travellers to Sri Lanka.

Exchange of mementoes by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Bashwara Gunarathna and Zhongshan Municipal Tourism Deputy Director General Dong Zuwen
Sri Lanka Tourism carried out several major promotional campaigns in China by identifying it as a major emerging market. The strategic promotional campaigns of Sri Lanka Tourism were designed on the instruction and direct guidance of the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, using innovative tools and methods which were far away with traditional promotional methods executed previously.
Accordingly, Sri Lanka Tourism carried out aggressive mega promotional campaigns in many emerging markets including China in year 2013 and 2014 in order to increase awareness, product knowledge on the destination.  During the mega tourism promotional campaigns in China, Sri Lanka Tourism launched a bill board advertising campaign in the city of Beijing, going parallel to a series of other promotional activities such as promoting Sri Lanka through light box advertising, print media advertisements, radio jingles, websites and PR campaigns to create awareness.
The BillBoard campaign is the first ever promotion of its kind ever to be executed in Chinese market at this scale. The LED backlit hoarding screens will be displayed in over 21 strategic locations in Beijing. These bill locations showcase major tourism attractions in Sri Lanka including history and culture, beaches, wildlife, festivals, ayurveda and spa, gem and jewellery that are of interest to the Chinese travellers. Meanwhile prominent places in 18 subway railway stations in Beijing have been identified to promote high spots of tourism attractions in Sri Lanka through this campaign.

A major bus branding campaign has also been launched parallel to the advertising promotions for a six-month period which is active in China to this date. The Bus Advertising Campaign was conducted with the branding of 300 buses among the Chinese public living and visiting cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chendu and Guangzhou. This campaign was further extended to year 2014 as well. Sri Lanka Tourism also launched a major promotional campaign in Shanghai in 2014 and an advertising campaign in Shanghai city covering outdoor hoardings, radio, print media, websites which is on going in the Shanghai city currently, multiplying the effect generated by Beijing campaign.

Some of the policy decisions made with the support of the Chinese government such as removing exist permit, agreement to promote 100,000 tourists to Sri Lanka, etc. have contributed to increase the travellers from China. Further the two governments signed agreements to promote Sri Lanka through major Chinese travel media; as a result some of the leading Chinese TV channels such as China Travel Channel, Outlook Traveller China, CCTV 6 and print media visited Sri Lanka  totaling up to 56 media personalities. Sri Lanka Tourism also brought down many Chinese Travel Agents and tour operators from various cities to create awareness on the destination aimed at attracting prospective travellers.  Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka is on a steady rise at the moment and has recorded a significant growth in year 2014 reflecting the effectiveness of the promotional campaigns executed in year 2013 onwards. During October 2014 Sri Lanka Tourism received their 100,000th Chinese tourist with a growth rate above 150% compared to last year. The latest jump shows encouraging signs as the Government of Sri Lanka is campaigning vigorously to capture a slice out of the growing Chinese outbound tourism market.

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The Kingsbury now accessible on the go

The  Kingsbury launches its very own mobile application for both Android and Apple mobile phone and tab users. This application contains information pertaining to the hotel and its facilities and enables guests to book accommodation, make restaurant reservations, enquire about banquet venues and get to know what are the special promotions and deals pertaining to The Kingsbury lifestyle.

Curtly put, this software functions as a brochure, a travel guide as well as a booking engine. What’s significant is that ‘The Kingsbury’ app fits perfectly to your mobile device giving you the ability to make enquiries and be informed instantly, from anywhere, atany time. Once The Kingsbury app is downloaded, you will receive notifications and push message services alerting you of any new information.
In order to commemorate the launch of this splendid and convenient application, The Kingsbury conducted a competition that included amazing prizes for 16 lucky winners. To have become eligible to win these exciting prizes, mobile users were simply required to download the application and register with The Kingsbury before 1 August 2014.

The prize giving ceremony of the competition was held recently at The Kings (lobby bar), surprising the winners with these splendid prizes, as they were unaware of what they had won prior to the prize giving ceremony. Since the launch, The Kingsbury has had an overwhelming response for the mobile application and would like to thank all their valued patrons for downloading the application and registering with The Kingsbury.

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