Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Upcoming five-star golf resort and spa at Nilaveli, Trincomalee

Situated in the North Eastern suburbs of the Trincomalee district is a popular coastal resort village called Nilaveli, which is not a new name to Sri Lankans or foreigners.

The Royal Suite Villa under constructionNilaveli is home to some of the most beautiful coastlines and world renounce beaches of this little island nation. With the tourism industry picking up to its usual glory after the decline during the civil war, a number of new properties are being developed in this beautiful village. One such fabulous property, which will soon be available to those who would like to treat themselves to an escape to paradise in the arms of luxury. This property is another business venture of those behind the Blue Orchid Residencies (Luxury Apartment Complex) project in Wijerama and the Nilaveli Blue Oceanic Resort. The luxurious golf resort is owned by Lalith Amarasekara, Mauli Chandrika Amarasekara and their daughter Dr. Diana Amarasekara.

The property covers a total land area of 16 Acres facing the Nilaveli Beach overlooking a beautiful coral reef with direct access from the Trincomalee-pulmudai main road. It enters the market as a Super Luxury Golf Resort with Spa. The property is composed of four main types of residences.

Presidential Villas: There are only two of these for the whole property overlooking to coral reef and they represent a class of their own at the very height of special amenities, comfort and luxury living. Each of these villas is equipped with its own private plunge pool and Jacuzzi for the ultimate state of relaxation. These two villas are also equipped with an outdoor rain shower. These villas are highly spacious boasting a total surface area of 1000 square-feet. The villas open out to a full blown serenading view of the beach and gives its guests direct access to the beach unlike any other type of residence in the property. This is a product that is carefully designed for the elite traveler who wants to indulge in the beauty of the blue waters and the golden dunes at an intimate level in a luxurious fashion.

Royal Villas: Only second to the presidential villa in terms of size and special amenities, there are only eight of these in the property. Each one of them is generously equipped with their own plunge pool. These are also equipped with a rain shower like the presidential suites. These villas open up to a breathtaking view of the beach and are very spacious accounting for a total surface area of 760 square-feet. This product is a crossover between the highest level of luxury offered in the presidential villa and the affordability of the junior suites.

Junior Suites: The junior suites come with a total surface area of 530 square-feet and has a view that is shared by the beach and the golf course. There are 10 suites of this type in the property. The junior suite is expected to serve a wide customer base as it encompasses affordability, luxury and the bliss of the sea side and golf course in one single package.

Family Rooms: Each family room is composed of two separate rooms within them and accounts for a total surface area of 900 square-feet. The view from these rooms is shared by the golf course and the beach as seen in the case of the Junior Suites. The product is meant to cater to those looking for an oceanic escape with the whole ‘gym band’ as they popularly call it in Sri Lanka.

Other facilities that this great property has to offer are as follows: Infinity sea water swimming; A restaurant; Mini Snack Bar at the Golf Course; A Souvenir Shop; Fine dining space for six persons inside the kitchen from where they can see the chefs do their magic.

Activities that one can indulge in during their stay at the hotel include: Golfing for those who want to play a game of confidence, 15 mins boat riding to infamous pigeons island, jet ski riding for the thrill seekers, boat riding in the sea and lagoon for those in the pursuit of tranquility, diving and snorkeling for those who want to explore the world underwater, painting to bring out the artist in oneself, bird watching for those who value bio-diversity, hiking historical landmarks for those who are in the need to know and day tours services to Sigiriya, Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

The final touch ups to make this property the best home outside of home are currently underway and the resort will soon be opened to the public.

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Top 10 tourist source markets and marketing of Sri Lanka tourism niches

The tourism sector is a significant that contribute to the economy of the country. Sri Lanka received over two million arrivals in 2016. This was 14% increase compared to last year 2015. In the case of foreign exchange earnings, Sri Lanka’s earnings increased by 18.5% in 2016.

The employment generated in the sector irrespective of direct and indirect increased by 5.1% in the year 2016 (Annual Statistical Report – 2016). When looking at the contribution to the economy of the country, there is an opportunity to the destination marketing organisations to improve further the tourism products in terms of marketing.

Sri Lanka tourism is growing progressively with the huge assistance of the Government of Sri Lanka. Destination marketing organisations need to focus on the branding strategies to promote an attraction as tourist destination. According to the tourism strategic plan 2017-2020 of Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Sri Lanka is working on the tourism destination planning and to make them sustainable through facilitating the destination management. This will help allocate resources easily and minimise the cost.

Destination of branding is an important strategy to market the destinations in other countries. This will create a positive attitude and influence on tourist behaviour (Ritchie and Ritchie, 1998). In order to be successful in the destination marketing, destination brand identity is a requirement for destination brand loyalty. This may guide for marketing activities of Sri Lanka tourism.

Sri Lanka is in need of creating such loyalty for its niches. Further, this will lead to build destination brand image. It is due to the fact that destination marketing organisations are really marketing a dream that is perception is reality (Pike, 2008). Therefore, Sri Lanka tourism should create destination brand identity and destination brand image among the international tourists.

Thus, the objective of the paper is to provide analysis of tourist arrivals and identify major source markets and suggest strategies market the tourism niches of Sri Lanka tourism. This may help the policy makers to strategise the tourism niches in Sri Lanka.

Analysis of tourist arrivals

Sri Lanka is receiving many tourists from all over the world. For this study only the top 10 markets for Sri Lanka are taken into consideration. Tourist arrivals to the country from the top 10 countries market is shown in Table 1.

A large number of tourists are entering into the country from India. However, there has been a substantial increase from 2015 to 2016 in tourist arrivals from China. According to the strategic plan for Sri Lanka Tourism 2016-2020, 50% of total tourist arrivals for the country is from India, China, UK, Germany and France. Therefore, it can be concluded that China will also have future considerable growth of tourist arrivals despite the fact that we received a huge number of tourists from India.

Although the United Kingdom and Germany are in the third and fourth rank of the top 10 markets, Australia and Canada have 17% growth rate and hence there is likely future growth these markets.

These tourists to the country visit for various purposes. Table 2 provides the purpose of the tourists entering Sri Lanka.

According to Table 2, tourists from various countries of origin arrive in Sri Lanka for various purposes like pleasure, business, visiting friends and relations, convention and meeting, religious and culture, health, sports, official visits and education. Although the travellers pay a visit for various reasons, a substantial portion of tourists i.e. 83.4%, arrive in Sri Lanka for pleasure/holiday.

As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, there is emerging and growing market for convention/meeting, health for which the destination marketing organisations should attempt to promote those areas to the potential and existing markets. However, it is very important to promote further the pleasure/holiday to the existing and potential market all over the world. It is because of the fact that the major portion of tourist arrival is due to the pleasure.

Since the top 10 markets for Sri Lanka is focused in this article, it is necessary to analyse the purpose of those 10 markets’ visit to Sri Lanka. Table 3 gives the details about the purpose of tourists’ arrival by country of top 10 residence. It is observed that substantial number of tourists from top 10 market for Sri Lanka tourism are for the pleasure or vacation. Therefore, it is to confirm that there is growing market for pleasure for those top 10 markets.

It is also noted here that there is good market for MICE tourism from India, UK and from China. Further, it also worthy to note here that there is a potential market for medical tourism from Germany. The analysis also reveals that focusing on the pleasure/vacation is most important for Sri Lanka. In addition, focusing on medical tourism and MICE will also give additional income and employment generation to the economy of the country. As such, it is very important to market MICE tourism and medical tourism for the potential markets. MICE tourism should be further marketed to the markets such as India, UK and China in the first instant.

Marketing Sri Lanka niches of tourism

Sri Lanka needs to be marketed as a destination for international tourists from all over the world. Thus, destination marketing organisations in Sri Lanka should attempt to engage in destination marketing of tourism products available in Sri Lanka. In particular, Sri Lankan destination marketing organisations are in need of engaging destinations brands to the potential country markets.

It is vital to understand the concept of destination marketing at this juncture. In order to be successful in the destination marketing of Sri Lanka tourism, Sri Lanka’s tourism niches need to be branded and positioned in the mind of existing and potential tourists in their source market. When it is branded, it is easy for destination marketing organisations in Sri Lanka to engage in destination marketing. Therefore, it is imperative for Sri Lanka tourism to brand the niches in Sri Lanka. Specifically, the niches like MICE, medical tourism and sun and beaches may unquestionably be branded and marketed all over the world after successful implementation of brand marketing strategies in the top 10 country markets.

Destination branding strategy starts from the identification of target market. As far as medical and MICE tourism are concerned, they are growing smoothly and capturing a share of market in Sri Lanka. Of top 10 markets, Germany, UK and India may be a potential market for Sri Lanka medical tourism, which could be observed in Table 3. It is also observed that India, China and UK are the potential growing market for MICE tourism of Sri Lanka. As an initiative, Sri Lanka can maintain those markets as a key market for medical and MICE tourism. This has also been mentioned in the Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-2020 of Sri Lanka Tourism.

Once the target markets are identified, the next measure of destination brand marketing is to identify the differentiation which may be unable to find in other countries’ medical and MICE tourism. This differentiation strategy should create a unique image in the mind of target market. Here it is important to ask a question why travellers choose Sri Lanka as a destination for MICE tourism. Hence, the answer for the question should be the factors that determine the differentiation of the country’s MICE tourism.

The factors around the differentiation of strategy may be the cost of living, cost of space, quality of manpower, exhibition and conference space, location, airfare, infrastructure facilities, IT facilities, safety and prominence of destination (Khan, 2015). All these factors can well be attributed to Sri Lanka for MICE differentiation strategy. Destination marketing organisations can have one or combinations of these attributes to brand Sri Lanka as a MICE destination. Further, this could be the components of the MICE brand. These should also be the components of positioning of Sri Lanka as MICE destinations.

Sri Lanka has a huge space for MICE. This should further be improved enabling to offer wide range of MICE services. For example, the BMICH and Nelum Pokuna Theatre. MICE is standing for meeting, incentives, conference and exhibition and therefore, programs can be arranged in collaboration with hotels in Colombo and surrounding the Colombo. Sri Lanka can focus on the costs, quality of manpower and safety in positioning the MICE tourism in the international tourists’ mind.

The differentiation strategy along with strong positioning may create an image of the MICE of the Sri Lanka as MICE tourism destination. Tourism marketers of MICE of Sri Lanka should attempt to tangiblise the MICE tourists’ experience and try to reinforce the image. Subsequently, tourists will be satisfied.

As far as medical tourism in Sri Lanka is concerned, it is at its infancy now but it is one of the lucrative opportunity to the tourism sector in Sri Lanka. It is observed that the major markets for medical tourism of Sri Lanka are India, China, UK, Germany and France since most of the tourist arrivals are from those countries. Sri Lanka needs to have more investment in the improvement of medical facilities. It is also believed that the medical sector in Sri Lanka has already started to work out on the medical tourism.

Analysis reveals that most of the tourists arrive the country for pleasure or holiday. Hence, other niches to be promoted are whale and dolphin watching and surfing. This can easily be promoted since whale watching can be done only with sea professionals. In Sri Lanka, this is being done by the Navy. Hence, safety is ensured and positioned.

Arugam Bay is one of the top sea surfing place in the world. Thus, it can be positioned well and it should be done to those top 10 markets. This can be done only through promotional efforts to those top 10 countries and destination marketing organisation should ensure the consistency of the message in all media.

Although the category of the sun and beach is considered as mainstream of the Sri Lanka tourism, it should be marketed as niche. According to the strategic plan 2017-2020 of Sri Lanka Tourism, the source markets are UK, China, Germany, France, USA, India, Russia and Canada. The differentiation attributes of the sun and beach should be positioned to those source market firstly. It is due to the fact that the largest portion of the tourists arriving to Sri Lanka is for pleasure and holiday purpose (See Table 2).

It is understandable that Sri Lanka has many niches to promote to the international tourists all over the world. Therefore, it is important for destination marketing organisations in Sri Lanka to learn about international tourist behaviour and find the market segments with proper research and formulate marketing strategies for positioning the market niches in the tourism sector of Sri Lanka.

In order to tap the source markets for tourism, it is recommended to firstly promote the niches to the identified target markets which are in the top 10 list of tourist arrivals. Therefore, destination marketing organisations should be engaged in digital marketing platform to promote the tourism niches effectively since the existing and potential tourist to Sri Lanka are now with digital technology.

It is also important to provide the tourists with quality service and atmosphere. This will determine the satisfaction of tourists. Hence, providing first class hotels and restaurants and a relaxing environment along with the identified tourism niche products is necessitated. In order to maintain the standards in services provided to the tourists, international quality assurance standards can be used to benchmark.


The major objective of the analysis was to suggest important tourism niche products and recommend strategies for marketing them to identified source markets. Sri Lanka has potential to market MICE, medical and sun and beach tourism and it has all infrastructures including the safety, transportation along with road networks.

Although Sri Lanka has already started to promote its niche products, needs to further attempt to promote its niche products all over the world through digital marketing. Hence, there must be digital marketing strategies to promote tourism niches like MICE, medical and sun and beaches to identified source markets.

The brands for each niche like MICE, medical and sun and beaches may be given separate brands along with slogan that will help reinforce the brand in the minds of potential and existing tourists coming to the country.

Although Sri Lanka has slogan for entire country (Sri Lanka – a land like no other and now wonder of Asia), it may be recommended to have slogan for each niche. This will help position each niche in the minds of tourists and will be able to differentiate well so that niche tourism will capture the top of minds. For example slogans for cities Michigan (Pure Michigan campaign), Sydney was promoted as ‘the world’s most sophisticated city’ were very successful in destination marketing.

nAnnual Statistical Report – 2016, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

nPike. S., (2008), Destination Marketing: An Integrated Marketing Communication Approach, Elsevier.

nRitchie J.R.B., and Ritchie R.J.B (1998), The Branding of Tourism Destinations, International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism, Morocco.

nSri Lanka Tourism Strategic Plan, 2017-2020

nKhan M. A., (2015), MICE Tourism, International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 299-304.

(The writer is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing Management, Faculty of Management & Commerce, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka.)

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Sri Lanka Tourism partners Canon Photo Marathon in October

Metropolitan Photo Hub MD Taslim Rahaman addressing the press conference while (from left): Metropolitan Group Chief Technology Officer Anil Gunawardena, Ebert Silva Tours Chairperson/MD Rajini de Silva Mendis, SLTPB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara, SLTPB MD Sutheash Balasubramaniam, My MD Damitha Ginigaddarage and Metropolitan Photo Hub GM Suresh Herath look on

– Pic by Indraratne Balasuriya


Sri Lanka Tourism has teamed up with Metropolitan and Canon to promote Sri Lanka through the eyes of the camera lens at the upcoming Canon Photo Marathon scheduled to be held on Saturday 21 October.

With the first photo marathon held in Sri Lanka in 2016, Sri Lanka joined other regional nations that have been annually holding photo marathon events in their respective countries to nurture tourism and photography. Some of these countries include Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Cambodia, Brunei and Taiwan.

This year, the photo marathon is expected to be bigger with hundreds of photo enthusiasts including foreign residents and tourists signing up to participate.

“Photo marathon is an interesting initiative to highlight some of Sri Lanka’s famous sights from the perspective of the visitor. This is the most important aspect for the tourism industry; I congratulate the organisers for realising this and organising this event on an annual basis,” said Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga.

“We are pleased with the initiative of Metropolitan Photo Marathon, and their competition will contribute to spreading the message of Sri Lanka as the preferred destination in Asia,” said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara.

The Canon Photo Marathon organised by Metropolitan Photo Hub Ltd. on behalf of Canon is expected to top a participation of over 400 photographers and over 800 anticipated photo submissions on the day.

“This is an open event for anyone who wants to participate. We have two categories. One is the student category and the other is the adult open category. The only criterion to participate is prior registration and a camera,” said Metropolitan Photo Hub Ltd. Managing Director Taslim Rahaman.

The contest will have two parts where contestants will have the opportunity to take photographs and submit them under two themes selected on the day. The grand prize of the photo marathon is a fully paid photography learning hip to Japan together with a Canon EOS

“This year, we have made the registration process more convenient by tying up with where interested participants can register online on the website,” added Rahaman.

Further, all participants have the opportunity to travel to their scenic locations via the iconic Ebert Silva double decker buses dedicated to carry tourists around the city, which will be available to participants on the day of the photo marathon. Ebert Silva Holidays have supported the photo marathon two years in a row as the official travel partner of the participants.

Metropolitan Photo Hub has pioneered many events and promoted the growth of the photography industry and the tourism industry in Sri Lanka in the past. This event is another milestone in these initiatives and this time the beneficiaries won’t only be the photography industry.

Registration fees of the participants will be donated to the Sri Lanka Council of the Blind to develop educational requirements of visually impaired students. Metropolitan Photo Hub is a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Group, renowned for marketing top global brands such as Canon. Canon is a global leader in the imaging and printing industry spanning over 35 years globally.

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Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit 2017 explores technology, innovation and authenticity

  • Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts will host the summit to mark World Tourism Day

The Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit will be held on 26 September as a one-day conference that will deliberate and draw examples from the best practices around the world on the theme Innovation, Technology and Authenticity. The topics will focus on practical solutions to the evolving challenges of the hospitality and tourism industry delivered by a high profile panel of international speakers.

Executive Editor Travel – CNN, Brekke Fletcher will deliver the keynote address on the theme ‘Understanding Tomorrow’s Traveller’. Fletcher currently oversees CNN’s worldwide coverage of travel whilst managing a network of more than 800 travel contributors and insiders around the globe.

Other eminent speakers at the conference include Dr. Sanjay Nadkarni – the Director of Research and Innovation at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, who will speak on the use of customer data for innovation to deliver a superior customer experience and revenue enhancement. Jereon Gulickx is a well-travelled hospitality professional with 20+ years’ experience within the hotel and spa segment. His expertise ranges from streamlining cost and operational models, strategy, yielding, business development, and marketing to digital marketing. He will elaborate on changing the hospitality landscape of the future to make your hotel profitable. Roy Graff, who leads Dragon Trail Interactive’s expansion into Europe, Middle East and Africa, will elaborate on the Future of Chinese Outbound Tourism and opportunity in Sri Lanka, while other topics at the conference include disruptive innovation, the future of hotel revenue, fighting for your market share, digital and influencer marketing trends, selecting the right technology and investing in innovation.

Having successfully established its credentials as a valuable thought leadership event for the travel and tourism industry in 2015, the Summit takes place bi-annually and encourages Sri Lankan and regional participation. This year’s Summit is expected to attract 400 participants.

Commenting on the Future of Tourism Summit 2017, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Head of Brand Marketing Dileep Mudadeniya explained, “The 2017 summit in particular will be a pivotal one because it brings an eminent panel of speakers under one roof to share their knowledge and insights about the industry. We are hopeful that the dynamic sessions by the speakers will create new opportunities for participants in their respective businesses. Cinnamon has always used a sustainable approach and we believe that by strengthening the industry, we are ultimately strengthening Sri Lanka as a destination that is evolving fast to meet emerging expectations of tourists.”

With responsible travel and tourism gaining momentum, it is crucial that the industry is aware and educated of the best practices to be adapted. Technology and innovation are vital for the development of brands and adopting to global standards. The Summit serves as a platform for the industry in Sri Lanka and the South Asia region to optimise their potential and awareness of such trends.

The Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit Colombo is powered by Mercedes Benz is endorsed by PATA with CNN Travel as the international media partner. The destination partner for the conference is the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, official airline partner Sri Lankan Airlines, mobile partner Mobitel, digital partner Xiteb, national media partners Daily Mirror, Daily FT and Sunday Times. The Summit is also supported by MillionSpaces, STR Global with Ceylon chamber of commerce as the strategic partners, Inbound travel partner Walkers Tours, Domestic Airline partner  Cinnamon Air, AV partner Citrus Events, Outdoor media partner Emerging Media and Hotel News Now as the media partner.

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Super luxury 5-star Golden Crown Hotel to open in Kandy soon

The Golden Crown Hotel, a super luxury 5-star property located on 2 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens in Kandy and designed by renowned architect Dr.upendra Rajapakse, will shortly open for the festive season.

From left: Finance and Administration Director Hansanie Wijekoon, Managing Director Chanuka Wijekoon and General Manager Rohan Fernando PIC BY NISAL BADUGEOwned by The Golden Crown Hotel Pvt. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Serene Holdings, which already operate Serene Grand Hotel in Kandy, Serene Grand Villa in Kandy, Serene Kings Villa in Nuwara Eliya, Serene Villa in Nuwara Eliya and the Tea Village in Nuwara Eliya, which is currently under construction, The Golden Crown indeed promises to be the ‘jewel in Kandy’s crown’.

Chairman, The Golden Crown Hotel Pvt. Ltd Sriyananda Wijekoon said, “The Golden Crown Hotel differentiates from other hotels in Kandy as we offer an extensive range of deluxe accommodation as well as banqueting facilities that can cater to over 2000 persons. We have a helipad facility as well, so it is evident that The Golden Crown effortlessly combines traditional comfort with modern facilities and our own hallmark attention to detail, while a striking feature on entering the Hotel is the spectacle of a fully automated, colour changing, dancing water fountain that greets you!”

The Golden Crown Hotel is set amidst verdant paddy fields, surrounded by lush greenery and is a sanctuary to those seeking peace and luxury. 90 Rooms including 72 Deluxe Rooms, 10 Junior Suites, 6 Premium Suites, a Crown Suite and a Presidential Suite complete with a private elevator for both the Presidential and Crown suites, comprise the Hotel’s accommodation.

Veteran hospitality industry expert Roshan Fernando who has been appointed General Manager, will head the team at The Golden Crown. With almost 40 years in the hospitality sector under his belt, Fernando will incorporate his strong leadership skills and prowess as a manager to ensure that The Golden Crown stays true to its name. The veteran hotelier has made his mark in South East Asia and proved his mettle as one of the finest hospitality industry personnel produced by Sri Lanka!

Addressing a media briefing, The Golden Crown Managing Director, Chanuka Wijekoon explained the theme behind the name, “The Golden Crown is a marvel of a structure capturing the proud unique Kandyan history in a modern contemporary setting. Every feature of the hotel has been well thought through and tastefully designed to provide the guest a memorable experience.” The Golden Crown Hotel is a special project to Chanuka as it is designed and constructed according to his wishes and under his watchful eye. Director Finance & Administration, Hansani Wijekoon said that the investment on The Golden Crown exceeded US$ 15 million and that their Board of Directors felt the investment was more than worth it as they foresaw tremendous potential for tourism in Sri Lanka.

Diners are spoiled for choice with the array of restaurants and bars that The Golden Crown has on offer. The Brix (175 seater) serves an array of local, South Asian and international cuisines, while a combination of local, South Asian and international breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are also available. The Long Bar in an Irish pub atmosphere serves snacks, salads, soups, grilled items and tasty titbits, as well as desserts, while Treats, the Coffee Shop offers a fusion of Continental and Asian influenced +‘grab-n-go’ foods and variety of freshly brewed coffees. The Infinity pool swim-up bar serves informal poolside lunch menus with salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and refreshing cold desserts, and the Lavo (175 pax capacity) situated on the topmost floor is an upscale and chic night time venue. Lavo is also available for group dining, parties, cocktails, corporate functions, etc. “Our 3 banquet halls with a combined capacity of over 2000 persons and 36,000 different shades of fully animated lighting systems to match any theme/color, is unmatched,” said Managing Director, Chanuka Wijekoon. The Windsor Ballroom (500 persons), Crown Court (500 persons), and Grand Ballroom (1200 persons) which is one of the largest pillar-less halls in Sri Lanka, are guaranteed to cater to the most exacting of wedding / conference organizers.

The Hotel’s fitness centre, sauna and spa are state of the art, while an infinity swimming pool is set on the 2nd floor with a picturesque view where the guest can relax and bask in the tropical sun. All rooms are tastefully designed and include flat screen TVS with IPTV facility, while all categories of suites have Jacuzzis, rain showers, and panoramic views. The Presidential and Crown suites both have their private elevators and are so luxurious as to befit royalty!

The Golden Crown, living upto it’s name, promises a memorable experience, while its banqueting facilities are guaranteed to raise the bar vis a vis conferences and weddings.

The Golden Crown board of directors are: Chairman Sriyananda Wijekoon, Managing Director Chanuka Wijekoon, Director Chamali Wijekoon, Director Finance and Administration Hansani Wijekoon.

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Aitken Spence : Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Achieves Prestigious Travelife Gold Certification

The ayurvedic wellness resort, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was accoladed with the internationally recommended Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations Gold Certification last week for the hotel’s commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices.

Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system awarded the prestigious title after carefully assessing the performance of the hotel against 163 sustainability criteria which included environmental issues, such as minimising the amount of energy, waste and water, positive social actions for employee welfare, working with the local community and businesses, child protection and human rights; and protecting local traditions, among others.

Results of the independent audit carried by Travelife showed that Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, which prides itself for having created a holistic framework aimed at creating a balanced lifestyle experience, have managed to fashion a similar balance in responsibly managing its socio-economic and environmental impacts.

The 64-roomed hotel has long since made a name for itself promoting the importance of wellness in ones’ life and curating a tourism product to cater to this growing trend in the world market. The Travelife certification as such adds immense value to the resort and the very essence of the business model it follows. The certification scheme works in partnership with tour operators, both in the UK and internationally, who use the system to increase sustainability in the industry and communicate achievements to customers.

Among the hotels’ many sustainability exercises, the net metered solar PV in electricity generation takes precedence. Recognised as the first hotel in Sri Lanka to adapt to this system, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has benefited immensely from this system which produces energy to cover the majority of its consumption needs. The biogas plant at the hotel also successfully contribute to the hotel kitchen as a supplementary to LNG.

While continuous monthly beach clean ups are conducted in support of the environment, the arts and crafts centre located within the premises aims at creating an awareness on local culture and inherent crafts that have been passed on from one generation to another. Uplifting the indigenous arts culture of the country, the hotel encourages local artisans to demonstrate their art at the centre. The hotel also practices the 7R principles followed by all Aitken Spence Hotels with the aim of reaching zero waste to land fill status and possess the certification of ISO 50001:2011.

This is the second consecutive recertification of Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara as a Travelife Gold member.

Other Aitken Spence Hotels in Sri Lanka – Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ahungalla – were also Travelife Gold certified and are awaiting the recertification for the second time.

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Wilpattu National park opened earlier than scheduled

The Wilpattu National park which was closed for visitors, a month ago, due to the drought was re-opened for local and foreign visitors from 9th of September 2017.

According to Minister Jayawickrema Perera, since there is enough water within the park for animals, a decision was taken to re-open the park.