Archive for April, 2018

Melwa hotel project with Hilton

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group has approved a loan up to US $ 24 million for a mega luxury leisure project in Sri Lanka, handled by the real estate developer Melwa Hotels & Resorts (Pvt) Ltd.

The total funding requirement in setting up the mega-scale project, which will be carried out in two phases, is expected to exceed US $ 100 million. The IFC pledge is for phase one of the project.

The loan agreement that was approved on March 20, 2018, was signed on March 22, and is pending disbursement.

Phase one of the project would include the 96-room property in Negombo, 192-room seafront property in Kosgoda and 42-room wild beach resort in Yala.

The properties are scheduled to reach completion by March 2019 (Negombo), 2021 (Kosgoda) and 2020 (Yala).

The management of the properties has been handed over to Hilton Hotels & Resorts for which an agreement was inked in April 2017.

The hotels will be opened under the names Doubletree by Hilton Negombo, Hilton Kosgoda Resort and Hilton Yala Resort & Spa.

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Long-delayed tourism promotional campaign to kickoff in two weeks

  • Consists of Us$3.5mn worth digital marketing and CNN advertising campaign
  • SLTPB evaluation process in awarding contracts for digital marketing campaign in final phase

Sri Lanka is to finally kick off the longdelayed tourism promotion campaign with a US$3.5 million worth six-month digital marketing campaign and a CNN advertising campaign in two weeks, Tourism and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said.

Speaking to media personnel on the sidelines of the announcement of the Round Table International World Meeting (RTIWM) 2018, which will be held in Negombo from 5th to 9th September at Jetwing Hotels in Negombo, Amaratunga said that he will present both the digital marketing campaign and the CNN advertising campaign to the Cabinet next week, seeking approval to award the contracts to marketing agencies.

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Aitken Spence’s Turyaa Chennai awarded best five-star deluxe in Tamil Nadu

Turyaa Chennai, owned and operated by the local hospitality chain Aitken Spence Hotels was conferred the ‘best five-star deluxe hotel’ in Tamil Nadu at the recently held Tamil Nadu Tourism Awards 2018.

The award ceremony, held with support from India Tourism, Government of India aims at identifying industry leaders who have actively promoted to maintain Tamil Nadu’s position as a premier tourism destination in India. In its third edition, this award is a testament to the quality and standards upheld by Turyaa Chennai who obtained the ‘five-star deluxe’ classification early last year. With this classification, Turyaa Chennai became one of five hotels in Chennai to have obtained this highly sought-after accreditation.

“We are pleased to have received this award, just a year after obtaining the five-star classification. The award is a reflection of the hard work and service excellence that is upheld by the team. Being the first Sri Lankan company to own and operate a five-star deluxe property in India, we are committed to spreading our unique message of hospitality through world-class offerings and service from the heart,” Aitken Spence Hotels Joint Managing Director Susith Jayawickrama said.

“Our hotel is ideal for local businessmen travelling to Chennai, or for local companies looking at MICE necessities in India,” he added, “With special business traveller packages, long stay packages and early bird offers, Turyaa Chennai is well positioned to lead the MICE industry in India.”

The 140-room property situated in the IT corridor of Chennai, just minutes away from the bustling city centre is perhaps the perfect amalgamation of business and leisure. Situated 20 minutes away from the international airport, the hotel is the ideal location for the business travellers, the ardent shopper or cultural holiday seeker.

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Mesmerising Vesak tours on Colombo City Tour

Vesak, the spiritual celebration of lights is a splendid time to view the city as it comes alive with colour and spiritual festivity. The Colombo City Tour, a venture by Sri Lanka Tourism and Ebert Silva Holidays offers exclusive and mesmerising evening tours to both foreign visitors and Sri Lankans to view Colombo at its best during this national festival of Vesak, on board its open deck double decker buses.

The tours will commence from Galle Face at 7 p.m. on 29, 30 and 1 May. Scheduled for approximately five hours, the city tours will sightsee numerous colourful Vesak zones and other vibrant activities scattered across the city. The colourful ‘Buddharashmi’ Vesak zone along the picturesque Beira Lake, the BauddhalokaMawatha zone will be the highlights of the tours. The open deck tours will enable the travellers to get a unique view of the beautifully illuminated city, many Pandols, Bakthi Gee performances, religious exhibits and intricately carved Vesak lanterns and many more. There will be live commentaries by professional guides with snacks served on board the open deck double deckers while on tour. The option of joining the regular Vesak tours or having the open deck double decker buses for groups will also be possible.

The Vesak Tours on board the Colombo City Tour open deck double deckers have been a specialty eagerly looked forward to by the young and old alike, now for many years. The venture has gained popularity and heightened the value of touristic experiences the city of Colombo has to offer, especially during this religious festivity to visitors from around the world.

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Colombo’s Hospital Street comes alive with Fairway Colombo Street Events

During the past decade, the Colombo Dutch Hospital Precinct has gathered momentum as one of the popular hang-out spots in the city. Since last year, the vibe has indeed increased with the introduction of street events along Hospital Street. The events were initiated to cater to the local and foreign visitors to the area. Fairway Colombo, a subsidiary of Fairway Holdings, is a local conglomerate that has continuously supported local art and culture through numerous projects. The philosophy behind the street events stems from the objective of transforming Hospital Street into a festive location, promoting local culture, values, traditions and connecting experiences with some of the other cities in the world. The events include a Street Food Festival every last Saturday and Sunday of the month from 06.00pm to 11.30pm, a Cultural Show every Monday and Thursday from 07.00pm to 10.00pm, Art & Jazz on the street every Second Saturday & Sunday of the month from 10.00am to 09.00pm and Jam on the Street every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 07.00pm to 10.00pm

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Go Outdoors Lanka introduces Sri Lanka’s first ever motorhome tour

In yet another first by Fairway Holdings, Go Outdoors Lanka, Sri Lanka’s pioneering Caravan and Motorhome rental and sales company (a subsidiary of Fairway Holdings), successfully completed a 25-day tour of the island for members of Worldwide Motorhome Holidays from the Camping and Caravanning Club UK.

Despite being a relatively new concept to Sri Lanka, holidaying in caravans and motorhomes is one of the most popular forms of travel in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and USA.

The allure of open spaces and the freedom to travel and explore at one’s own pace are some of the reasons why people chose this type of experience.

The ‘Splendors of Sri Lanka’ was the first of two tours to be conducted this year with the Camping and Caravanning Club UK. The tour took guests to eight motorhomes parks around the island, namely Wilpattu, Jaffna, Dambulla, Passikudha, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Kirinda and Talalla. These locations were specifically picked in order to provide guests an opportunity to experience the country’s history, diverse culture and natural beauty.  Go Outdoors Lanka’s motorhomes and caravans are fully equipped with all the necessary features and facilities to ensure a comfortable and fun-filled vacation. Motorhomes are rented with a driver for your convenience. In addition to renting motorhomes, Go Outdoors operates two static caravan parks in Wilpattu and Nuwara Eliya.

The Wilpattu Caravan Park is located just outside the Hunuwilgama entrance to the national park and is ideal for guests who like to maximise on their time exploring the park.

The Nuwara Eliya Park is located on the bank of Lake Gregory and offers guests a unique experience in Nuwara Eliya.

Source :–Sri-Lanka-s-first-ever-motorhome-tour/27-653927

Embassy in Vietnam to promote Lankan products, tourism in Hanoi

  • To hold ‘Sri Lanka in Hanoi: a cultural fiesta’ in Vietnam from 27 to 29 April

Promoting tourism and Sri Lankan products among the Vietnamese, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Vietnam will hold ‘Sri Lanka in Hanoi: a cultural fiesta’ at the Vietnam Women’s Museum from 27 to 29 April.

The event is a collaboration between the Embassy of Sri Lanka, the Vietnam Women’s Museum and Hanoi Small and Medium Enterprises Association. The event is organized in connection with Sri Lanka celebrating its 70th Independence and also to mark the 48-years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Vietnam.  Giving a chance for the Vietnamese to experience Sri Lanka at their door-step, there will be an exhibition of paintings on Sri Lanka, exhibition of photographs on Sri Lanka – Vietnam bilateral relations, Sri Lankan films and documentaries, Sri Lankan products – handloom fabric, batik tea, spices, handicraft and gems, Sri Lankan music and food. Holding the event at the Vietnam Women’s Museum, which was founded in 1987 and ranked in the top 3 of the 94 best attractions in Hanoi by TripAdvisor, it is expected to attract a large number of local and international visitors to the Sri Lankan cultural fiesta. “As a female Ambassador in Hanoi, I have been closely collaborating with the Vietnam Women’s Museum on wide range of issues and projects. This has now enabled me to obtain facilities at their premises to organize the event almost free of charge,” Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Vietnam Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake said. She said that exhibition of paintings by renowned Vietnamese artist Van Duong Thanh with some collection of paintings connected to Sri Lanka will also be held at the Museum while a travel book on Sri Lanka, Morrocco, Japan and Portugal written by a famous Vietnamese travel writer Di Li will also be launched at the opening ceremony on April 27. Ambassador Dissanayake said that Sri Lankan in-bound travel agencies, Sri Lankan companies interested in promoting their products – gems and jewellery, food & beverages, ayurveda/herbal products, spices, handicrafts, tea, batik, handloom-made items, gift items such as small brass items, handloom western cloths & shawls – both cotton & silk, etc – have been invited to take part in the event.

Ambassador Dissanayake commenting on Sri Lanka – Vietnam relationship said that two nations were strengthened their bilateral relations during the formative years of Vietnam and also in its eventual efforts for unification.  “The two countries are also well connected due its affinity to Buddhism and the political links between the two countries were firmly established with the founding leader of Vietnam, late President Ho Chi Minh visiting Sri Lanka in 1911, 1928 and in 1946,” she noted.

The bilateral trade in 2016 was US$ 364.42 and total exports from Sri Lanka were only US$ 94.67 (in 2017) from January to November the total trade between two countries was recorded as US$344.58.

Vietnam’s economic growth is continuing with a sound agricultural and fisheries base. Agriculture accounts for almost 20% of GDP and today Viet Nam is among world’s top 10 exporters of Cashew, Pepper, Tea, Coffee, Desiccated coconut, Rice, Clove, Cinnamon (cassia), Fish and etc.

Ambassador Dissanayake, commenting on the female’s contribution to Vietnam’s economy, said that Vietnamese women play an increasingly important role in the economic development.

“In agriculture, one of the country’s key sectors, women make up some 70% of the labour force, and in production, especially in the workforce in export-oriented industries, such as garment and textile, footwear, light industry, and seafood processing. Vietnam ranked 19th in the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2017 and was placed 7th in terms of the rate of women business owners, 31.4%. Some of the leading women entrepreneurs include CEOs of Vietjet Air, TH True Milk, Vina Milk, Canifa, PNJ Jewellery, SeA Bank, REE Corporation, IPP Group, HD Bank etc,” she noted.

Dissanayake said that considering the importance and especial features of the Vietnamese economy, the event would be a good opportunity for Sri Lankan trade representatives to interact with Vietnamese enterprises as well as to learn from their experiences.  She said that the Embassy has much help from the Vietnamese friends of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan community for organizing the event, in addition to effectively using the representational allowances of the diplomats and was thankful for support of Sri Lanka Tourism Board and the National Gem and Jewellery Authority. Above all, I find many novel ways to organize events effectively with a minimum budget,” she said.

The Embassy expects over 1000 visitors during the three-day cultural fiesta. (SS)

Source :–tourism-in-Hanoi/34-653729