Archive for November, 2016

Tourism Fest to dazzle Colombo


With the festive season just around the corner elaborate plans are being made to transform the city of Colombo into a Tourism Wonderland from 20 to 23 December this year.

Sri Lanka Tourism under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs is planning the second edition of Tourism Fest which took the city by storm last December. The idea behind this unique event is to portray Sri Lankan food, culture, gems, handicrafts, tea, shopping and entertainment at one venue during the height of the tourist season. According to sources at Sri Lanka Tourism, this year’s Tourism Fest will be a bigger and better version of last year.

Tourism Fest 2016 will be declared open by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Tourism Development, Christian Religious Affairs and Lands, John Amaratunga on 20 December while President Maithripala Sirisena will preside at the closing ceremony on 23 December at the Independence Arcade in Colombo, which is the venue for the four-dayevent. A host of VIPs and diplomatic community are expected to visit the Fest during the four-day event.

Tourism Fest is a concept of Tourism Development Minister, John Amaratunga who having realised the absence of any organised tourism related event during the festive season when city hotels are filled with foreign tourists, decided to organise a multi-day event bringing together all tourism stake holders. The event is complemented with nonstop entertainment by armed forces bands, choral groups and cultural shows providing both local and foreign tourists a memorable experience.

Meanwhile in order to enliven the ambience in the city, the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs has requested the corporate sector to light up their buildings during the festive season. As a result, Colombo is expected to dazzle during Tourism Fest 2016 creating a lively atmosphere that will rival the trendiest cities in this part of the world.

“My intention is to organise calendar based events so that visitors to the country will know that there is plenty of entertainment during their visit. I have heard many tourists complaining that there is not much to do when the sun sets in the city. Events of this nature will provide much needed entertainment for tourists while also promoting our tourist attractions,” said Amaratunga explaining the rationale for Tourism Fest 2016.

Among the entertainment acts billed to perform during the four-day fest are the Army, Air Force and Police Bands, various choirs singing Christmas carols, groups conducting nativity plays and various cultural shows. A fireworks display is set to dazzle the environs of Independence Square while a specialkiddies’entertainment area will keep the youngsters thoroughly entertained while the adults grab bargains at the shopping bazaar featuring some of the best known global brands.

To add spice to the proceedings, Tourism Fest will feature food and beverage stalls by leading hotels and restaurants in Colombo with live demonstrations of different cuisines giving visitors an opportunity to learn and experience the culinary aspects of Sri Lanka. The international cuisine on offer will include Mongolian, Arabic, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Korean, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Indonesian and specialty desserts at a nominal rate. In addition, the Sri Lanka Tea Board will feature a tea tasting centre with a display of the many varieties of tea available in the island.

One of the main attractions for tourists will be an exposition of Sri Lankan culture and heritage presented by Central Cultural Fund showcasing photographs, artefact replicas and books. The Gem &Jewellery Authority will also be organising an exhibition on Sri Lankan gems with a sales outlet as well. The Zoological Department and the Department of Wild life will have exhibitions on the wildlife and zoological gardens of Sri Lanka. It will be a unique experience for those interested in wild life.

A special double decker shuttle bus service organised by ‘Colombo City Tour’ will be available from selected Colombo hotels daily to and from the venue with live carols on board.

Tourism Fest 2016 will create a Sri Lankan sense of celebration and spread the spirit of the season among locals, tourists, the diplomatic and expat communities while providing a unique platform for tourism promotion.

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Sri Lanka at International Tourism and Travel Show 2016


The Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the Sri Lanka Tea Board participated at the International Tourism and Travel Show 2016 in Montreal. This show is one of the largest events in the Canadian travel calendar and saw the participation of 400 exhibitors. It was visited by over 2,000 persons including travel agents and tour operators.

The Sri Lankan stall drew substantial interest providing an ideal opportunity to showcase the country as an attractive destination. Tourism promotional materials were made available in both French and English. Souvenirs including Ceylon Tea were distributed to the visitors. High Commission staff comprising Gaminda Kalansuriya, Judith Ellepola and Abdul Mannan made necessary arrangements. Sri Lanka’s presence at this show took place after an absence of a number of years.

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Colombo boutique hotel Maniumpathy joins The Sri Lanka Collection

The Sri Lanka Collection is pleased to announce the addition of a new Collection member, Maniumpathy.

This inspiring, recently renovated, eight-bedroom boutique heritage hotel with a swimming pool is located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, close to embassies and consulates. With the inclusion of Maniumpathy, The Sri Lanka Collection – a UK-based representation and marketing company – now represents 13 boutique hotels in Sri Lanka.


Sister hotel to The Kandy House and Taylors Hill (both near Kandy) and The Last House (near Tangalle), Maniumpathy is managed by Manor House Concepts. All four hotels share similar characteristics of being small, intimate and highly atmospheric properties with high standards of service, comfort and food set amidst sensitively converted historic buildings. Maniumpathy is no exception. The house was built in 1906, commissioned by a doctor from Jaffna and occupied by subsequent generations of his family before the property was converted into a hotel in 2015.

“With hotels in the south, Tea Country and historic Kandy, Manor House Concepts is very excited to launch Maniumpathy, our first beautiful city hotel, which we believe will be a key asset in The Sri Lanka Collection’s portfolio,” commented Tim Jacobson, owner of Manor House Concepts.

“The hotel will accommodate a rising demand for travellers looking to enjoy the many varied attractions of Colombo as they include Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital in their itineraries.”

Located on the cusp of Cinnamon Gardens, near where Barnes Place joins Kynsey Road, Maniumpathy is home to eight individually designed bedrooms, each named after family matriarchs, and adorned with one-of-a-kind artefacts, framed sepia family photographs and aged Ceylonese prints. Four-poster beds, slipper bathtubs and strong showers all proffer 20th century luxuries though the character of this grand colonial abode remains pleasingly unchanged.


Maniumpathy is a city hotel and the ideal place to while away a day or two before or after a flight, exploring a colourful Colombo or simply staying put. The atmosphere is relaxing and homely. Its facilities include a sitting room sprinkled with magazines, a long hall with formal dining, a serene garden edged by tropical foliage with a swimming pool and a garden courtyard for al fresco dining. The location is within easy reach of Colombo’s CBD and the hotel also works well for business travellers. The 18-seater table indoors could be used for meetings, conferences or private events.

Maniumpathy is staffed by a gentle, friendly and efficient team, and the chef oversees a restaurant serving Jaffna fusion dishes and international cuisine. Guests can choose to dine on the veranda or poolside, looking into the serene garden courtyard or on the formal table for 16 indoors.

Colombo’s attractions are all within reach and the hotel promises plenty to keep guests busy for days, from sightseeing at the National Museum and Independence Monument; checking out the action on the Galle Face Green; dropping into Number 11, the fascinating former home of legendary Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa; watching a game of cricket perhaps; or indulging in one of the city’s spas. Plenty of boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants are close by.

Maniumpathy is located in the centre of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. The city’s premier sights and attractions are within easy reach. Colombo’s international airport is 40 minutes away by car.

The Sri Lanka Collection, a UK-based representation and marketing company, works on behalf of a distinguished collection of Sri Lankan boutique hotels, villas and safari camps. The company raises awareness of Sri Lanka’s outstanding boutique travel products and helps them to maximise their visibility in the UK. The Sri Lanka Collection is the first representation company of its kind to focus on the high-end client and on Sri Lanka alone.

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Sri Lanka wins ‘Best Destination of the Beaten Track’ at Conde Nast Awards

Sri Lanka Tourism was able to show its prestige and bag another award, titled the ‘Best Destination of the Beaten Track’ Award at the Conde Nast Traveler Middle East Reader’s Choice held on November 14th, at the Park Hyatt Hotel Dubai.

Charitha Yattogoda , Consul General for Dubai, accepted the award on behalf of Sri Lanka Tourism. Sri Lanka made an outstanding appearance as it outperformed two other destinations (i.e New Zealand and Vietnam) to acquire the title of ‘Best Destination of the Beaten Track’ which is awarded based on the votes of the readers of the Conde Nast Traveler Middle East Magazine, that covers wider cross section of the tourism sector including the favorite travel experiences, from destinations and hotels to airlines and tour operators. Conde Nast Traveler Middle East Readers’ choice award is one of the premier award ceremonies held in the GCC region on annual basis, during which, the top rated countries, airlines, hotels and tour operators are awarded. In addition to Sri Lanka, USA and Maldives were also awarded the different categories and leading airlines and hotels including Emirates Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Dusit Thani and Atlantis, the Palm etc, were awarded at the ceremony.

Sri Lanka Tourism’s latest win for the tourism sector indicates that Sri Lanka is being widely popular among tourists regarding its vivid attractions, rich and ancient cultural heritage. Up to October 2016, Sri Lanka has received 93,640 tourist arrivals from the Middle Eastern region, where it generates a 5.1 percent growth compared with the same period last year.

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Sri Lankan hotels report sharp growth rates


Ahead of the inaugural Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), taking place in Colombo at the end of this month, a study by STR reveals that Sri Lanka’s hotel market recorded strong overall performance growth through September 2016, driven by a sharp increase in average daily rate (ADR).

In year-over-year comparisons with the first nine months of 2015, Sri Lanka hotels reported a 15% increase in ADR to Rs. 15,806.02. Meanwhile, occupancy was relatively flat at 66.4%. As a result, revenue per available room (RevPAR) jumped 14.9% to Rs. 10,495.60.  As highlighted in Sri Lanka Tourism’s 2016 Strategic Marketing Plan, the country has a target of 2.2 million visitors for the total year, which would be a 26% increase compared with 2015. Tourism statistics show that the country welcomed 1.5 million visitors as of September, a 14.6% increase compared with the same nine months last year.

Boosted by the Government’s efforts to increase international arrivals, Sri Lanka’s hotel demand (rooms sold) increased 4.0% as of September.

Supply, however, also increased at a rate of 4.0%, and STR expects that supply will continue rising over the next two years with more than 4,300 rooms currently in Sri Lanka’s pipeline.

STR analysts attribute Sri Lanka’s recent boost in ADR to a changing hotel landscape in the market, driven by recent openings of new luxury properties. Additionally, more than 3,600 of the 4,300 rooms in Sri Lanka’s pipeline fall in the luxury and upscale categories, which should further lift the country’s ADR as more of the hotel rooms available will be sold at higher prices.

STR Asia Pacific Area Director Jesper Palmqvist, said: “The market for hotel accommodation in Sri Lanka is decidedly healthy, with double-digit growth in occupancy for the past three years and this year, we have seen uplift in average daily rates too.” At AHTIC, which takes place, 27-29 November 2016, at the Hilton Colombo, Palmqvist will give a detailed presentation on the demand for hotel accommodation across the region.

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Ella Mount Heaven brings guests novel touch of comfort 


Surrounded by pure, lush landscape of Ella, the countryside, Ella Mount Heaven is on the focus of interest and immense praise of tourists. Ella Mount Heaven hotel expects to shower her guests with a drizzle of soothing amenities in the festive season and at the dawn of New Year. Ella Mount Heaven has its place in the hearts of her visitors as a real heaven mingled with warmth and chill where beauty and splendour conspire with comfort. Equipped with luxury, Ella Mount Heaven hotel consists of 29 deluxe rooms and four super deluxe rooms attached with private pools. Local and foreign dishes, unbeatable hospitality, free and tranquil vicinity are a few of its inexhaustible spirit of adventure. It is simultaneously centralised by the popular tourist hotspots. The tourists lodged at the hotel are bestowed with the inspiration to visit Rawana Ella, Dowa temple, bridge in Bogoda, Dunhinda Ella, tea estates, bridge of seven Arukkus and Little Adam’s Peak. Infused with fabulous architecture, Ella Mount Heaven opens doors to an escapade upon green ring of rich hills. Being a suitable corridor for both free and luxurious retreat and happy functions, Ella Mount Heaven often wins foreigners. According to the management, that is why there is an especial demand by the foreign tourists. It has established its print in hospitality, thus adorning its identity.

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Tourism’s holiday festival Tourism Fest 2016 aims to attract tourists to Colombo

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) together with other tourism institutions under the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs has organised a holiday fest as a tourist attraction.

The Ministry is making plans to attract both foreign and local tourists to the capital city of Colombo during the upcoming festive season with Tourism Fest 2016.

Tourism Fest 2016 will take place from 20 to 23 December at the Independence Arcade in Colombo.

This year’s edition of Tourism Fest will be a major fillip for event-based tourism conceptualised by Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga.

Based on an initiative of Tourism Minister John Amaratunga, Tourism Fest aims to transform the peak holiday season in to a mega tourist attraction in Colombo. Tourism Fest 2016 is slated to feature musical shows, cultural shows, seasonal events, food festivals, exhibitions and many more attractions at one location, the Government Information Department says.

The four day festival will include daily musical shows featuring popular bands and artistes, food festival with the participation of leading hotels including all five star hotels, various exhibitions depicting Sri Lanka’s tourist attractions, cultural shows, Christmas carols, fireworks displays etc. There will be loads of entertainment for children as well. The inaugural Tourism Fest last December was a big tourist attraction and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better.

“I want Colombo to be recognised as a city that comes alive during the festive season. Many tourists complain that there is nothing much to do in the city when the sun goes down. Events of this nature will not only entertain tourists but will also be an attraction for the local community,” said Minister Amaratunga.

As part of the Tourism Fest, Minister Amaratunga has requested the corporate community to illuminate their buildings and nearby streets in order to create seasonal ambience in the city. The city’s round-about, main roads, hotels and shopping areas will also be illuminated as part of this program.December is the peak tourist season in Sri Lanka. It is the month that traditionally records the highest number of arrivals to the country. Sri Lanka is poised to record over two million tourist arrivals for the first time in its history this year. Tourism Fest 2016 is expected to cap off a historic year for Sri Lanka Tourism.

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