Posts Tagged ‘Aitken Spence’

DB Schenker partners with Aitken Spence in Sri Lanka and Maldives

As at 1st September 2015, DB Schenker welcomes DBS Logistics Ltd as its newest network partner for Sri Lanka and Maldive Islands.

DBS Logistics Ltd was formed to solely represent DB Schenker in Sri Lanka and Maldives for Air & Ocean Freight as well as Project Cargo. The setup of DBS Logistics was led by Aitken Spence Plc, a publicly listed conglomerate founded in Sri Lanka since 1868. Aitken Spence has diversified interests, which include maritime cargo logistics as well as strategic investments and services. Aitken Spence is one of the largest logistics service providers in Sri Lanka and has pioneered the industry in the country.

Dr Parakrama Dissanayake – chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime and Logistics Sector and Director of Aitken Spence said, “This partnership in Sri Lanka and Maldives brings together the expertise and experience of a global leader and a regional leader, which will form a catalyst to propel growth. Imagination is what drives innovation & solutions, and together, DB Schenker and Aitken Spence have the imagination to make greater things happen.”

Added Anders Wallin, Chief Financial Officer, Schenker (Asia Pacific) P/L, “DB Schenker has had a long relationship with Sri Lanka since 1980. This new partnership with DBS Logistics marks a new chapter, which will take us to another level of growth in these two important markets, especially benefitting our customers across industries, such as Fashion/Retail, Electronics, Industrial, Healthcare, Automotive, Aerospace and others.”

As DB Schenker’s exclusive Network Partner for Air Freight, Ocean Freight and Project Cargo in Sri Lanka and Maldives, the appointment of DBS Logistics will enable better integration of services as well as enhanced capabilities and quality of service in the two territories.

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Archetypes and Accolades at Aitken Spence’s second staff convention


The second Aitken Spence Staff Convention was held on 24 July at Aitken Spence Towers. Deputy Chairman & Managing Director, JMS Brito, Main Board Directors, Managing Directors and over 350 members of staff were present at this event.

The guest speaker, Michel Nugawela, is a brand development consultant who specializes in brand strategy and brand identity development with related specialization in change strategies across newly rebranded or repositioned organizations. Nugawela introduced the audience to Leadership Archetyping, a disruptive Jungian psychological approach to individuation and leadership, based on 12 archetypal dimensions of leadership that are able to significantly enhance and transform executive and team performance by connecting cognitive functions with the unconscious mind.

The 12 archetypes – Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, Caregiver, Explorer, Lover, Destroyer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Sage and Jester – reflect the various roles that leaders can play in organizations and put a human face to the attitudes, interactions, and recurring patterns of behaviour that influence their effectiveness. Similarly, a lack of alignment between a leader’s archetype and the organization in which he or she operates is a main cause of team and organizational dysfunctionality and executive failure.

“The Warrior is the fundamental archetype for leadership,” said Nugawela. “The basic requirements of the Warrior leader in its positive pole are mental toughness, professional competence, emotional control, realistic decision-making and motivating others to the highest levels of achievement. But leaders who lack consciousness of the fullest potential of the Warrior archetype can also slide into its negative pole and see their role as a “win at any cost” version of leadership. There is also a very real problem when leaders overextend their stay in the Warrior. They then unconsciously suppress other archetypes that are just as critical to the leadership role.”

At the Staff Convention, JMS Brito unveiled the “Spensonian” employee brand and Ms Stasshani Jayawardena presented a token of appreciation to Shan Perera, Assistant Sales Manager of Aitken Spence Aviation, who developed the name. JMS Brito also launched the Diamond Awards, a series of accolades to recognize and reward creativity and innovative performance across the group, and recognized Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels, for conceptualizing the rewards initiative.


Finally, two subsidiaries of Aitken Spence were acknowledged for their certifications: Aitken Spence Garments secured ISO 9001:2008 QMSC awarded by SGS Lanka, the Platinum Certificate of Compliance by the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production, and Compliance Plus by the Employer’s Federation of Ceylon for meeting and surpassing established standards. Aitken Spence Cargo, Ace Cargo and Ace Aviation Services also secured Environmental Management Systems re-certification to the International Standard ISO 14001:2004.

‘Non-English speaking Chinese diners can only order noodles’

July 17, 2015, 8:17 pm

Aitken Spence Travels

The awards ceremony which marked the launching of the partnership of Guangdong Tourism Cooperation with Aitken Spence. Concurrent to the event, a bilateral tourism promotion centre was established in Vauxhall Street, Colombo.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Chinese diners who don’t understand what’s on a menu printed in English would only order noodles, leaving out all other gastronomical delights, Ren Faqiang China’s deputy ambassador in Sri Lanka said recently at the Guangdong, China-Sri Lanka Tourism Cooperation Seminar-2015 held at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo.

Striking at the heart of a difficulty faced by the visiting Chinese, the deputy ambassador said, “Chinese people are eager to go sightseeing overseas which creates an immense market for foreign countries. In this sense, Sri Lanka is high up in tourist attractions for Chinese tourists, but the communication difficulty is a big inconvenience they face when they arrive here.

“Most of the Chinese visitors who visit your country don’t speak English. In order to arouse enthusiasm among them and to make them feel more at home quickly and easily, Sri Lanka Tourism ought to strategically feature the Chinese language in its travel and leisure brands, Faqiang suggested.

A high-powered delegation from the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Association attended this seminar to attract Sri Lankan tourists to China. On the day this seminar was held, Guangdong Tourism Cooperation and Promotion Centre was established in Vauxhall Street, Colombo, in partnership with Aitken Spence.

As Guangdong Province’s outbound tourism market records eight million annually, it is believed that bilateral tourism cooperation will bring more Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka.

Guangdong is the 13th biggest economy in the world with a GDP of around $ 1 trillion, earning $16.5 billion from its tourism business alone. Guangdong and Sri Lanka have had cultural, economic, trade and staff exchanges over the past years.

The Chinese deputy ambassador speaking further on the bilateral understanding said, “The partnership between Guangdong Tourism and Sri Lanka Tourism will not only have the potential for Sri Lanka’s tourist trade; it will also have a potential for investment as Chinese millionaires and billionaires would be visiting the country.

“It would be a good idea to put up signs in Chinese in the arrivals lounge of the airport and at immigration counters to help the Chinese traveler in a meaningful way. The menus, entertainment information, hotel brochures etc., may also have a Chinese version. Chinese language training for various service providers, interpreters and tour guides would be welcome by the non-English speaking travellers. They would also love to watch CCTV and listen to Chinese radio, the deputy ambassador pointed out.

Located in south China, Guangdong is the southern gate of the Chinese mainland, bordering Hong Kong, Macao and is geographically close to ASEAN countries. The province boasts abundant travel resources and is extremely popular with travelers, a travel brochure states.

The region has seven national famous historical cities, including Guangzhou, Foshan, Chaozhou, Meizhou, Zhaoqing, Leizhou and Zhongshan. Each of these cities has unique characteristics. “Either the ancient architecture or modern scenery, natural beauty or folklore, these destinations will leave visitors surprised and amazed during their travel, the brochure further states.

At the seminar, the development of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was also highlighted.


More benefits for frequent flyers with FlySmiLes-Aitken Spence partnership

SriLankan Airlines’ FlySmiLes partners Aitken Spence Hotels and Resorts to offer a wide array of exciting benefits to the airline’s frequent flyers. With the new partnership, FlySmiLes members will now have the opportunity to earn and redeem miles for their stays at any Aitken Spence hotel in Sri Lanka.

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Accordingly, FlySmiLes members can now earn 200 FlySmiLes Miles per night at Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Ayurveda MahaGedara; and 100 FlySmiLes Miles per night at Earl’s Regency, The Sands, Hotel Hilltop and Bandarawela hotel. Aitken Spence Hotels’ Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Althaf Mohamed Ali said, “We are delighted to sign this partnership with SriLankan Airlines; being able to provide our guests with the facility to earn and redeem FlySmiLes miles while staying at our hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, is an exciting opportunity.

We believe that the strategic alliance formed complements our synergies which will prove to be mutually beneficial to all stakeholders.” SriLankan Airlines Head of Commercial Operations Mohammad Fazeel said, “SriLankan Airlines, as the national carrier, has always been looking for new avenues to reward its FlySmiLes members. With the latest partnership with Aitken Spence Hotels, FlySmiLes members will have access to more rewards, benefits and more ways of earning and burning miles.  With the Airline’s entry to oneworld alliance on 1 May this year, they will also have the privilege of earning and redeeming miles whenever they fly with any of the oneworld member airlines.” With the new partnership, FlySmiLes members can also redeem their Miles by obtaining vouchers in denominations of LKR 1,000, 5,000, and10,000 from FlySmiLes, to settle in full or in part for their stays at any Aitken Spence hotel.

In order to earn miles members are required to quote the FlySmiLes Membership number at the time of the reservation and also produce the FlySmiLes membership card upon check-in. To redeem miles members are required to call FlySmiLes Call centre on +94(0) 19733 3333. For more details log on to and Aitken Spence Hotels operates a chain of 24 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. With many years in the hotels industry, the company’s’ expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence in everything on offer. Located in some of the key tourist locations each of the chains leading hotels caters to a diverse client base. From 1 May, FlySmiLes will include two new membership tiers to its program – Platinum and Classic. Thereon, membership tiers will progress from the entry level Blue, to Classic, Silver, Gold and its new top-level Platinum.

The top tier frequent flyer categories of Platinum, Gold, and Classic – the new FlySmiLes Club – will be matched with the corresponding oneworld tiers, Emerald, Sapphire, and Ruby respectively.  Holders of these top level cards will receive benefits, privileges and recognition across the entire oneworld network, when they fly with any oneworld member airline.


Can Lanka use Eco-tourism for sustainable forest management?

Tucked away amidst a tea plantation and bordering the Deniyaya side of the Sinharaja Rainforest is a unique eco-tourism venture that could hold valuable lessons on the future of forest-based ecotourism in Sri Lanka. The ‘Rainforest Eco Lodge’, owned by a unique consortium of respected Sri Lankan corporates like MAS, Dilmah and Aitken Spence, has been able to bring a new appreciation to the value and preservation of the Sinharaja Rainforest – both locally and globally – while ensuring that the highest principles of sustainable ecotourism are maintained.

Ecotourism based on natural forests has been receiving much attention recently and, in Sri Lanka, natural forests like Sinharajaare a key tourist attraction. Ecotourism, when planned and implemented based on its sustainable principles, can generate a number of economic and non-economic benefits. Sowhat is Sri Lanka’s status in terms of forest-based ecotourism and how can we maximize the benefits that ecotourism can offer?

Eco-tourism and Forests

Ecotourism, by definition is a ‘sustainable’ concept. Accordingly, the concept of ecotourism encompasses consideration for the well-being of local communities; conservation of the environment; socio-cultural integrity of the areas and environmental education to generate awareness; and the inculcation of attitude and encouragement towards environmental conservation among the visitors, as well as the host communities.

Although the global ecotourism market is growing at a rapid rate, ecotourism in Sri Lanka is still at its infancy, particularly forest-based ecotourism. Forest-based ecotourism is a non-consumptive, market-based approach to forest utilization, and can be used to portray the economic benefits of forest conservation. In Sri Lanka, the principles of forest-based ecotourism are especially applicable because it possesses an enormous potential: together with the Western Ghats in India, it is listed as one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots possessing a natural advantage that can be utilized for the development of forest-based ecotourism.

What hinders the Potential?

Lack of awareness and understanding of the true concept of ecotourism among the relevant stakeholders remains a major obstacle. Due to this, various agencies involved in forest-based ecotourism have different definitions of ecotourism. Ecotourism, in most cases, is viewed as synonymous with conventional nature tourism. Nature tourism involves travel to natural places, but it does not necessarily include aspects such as benefits to local communities, positive contributions to natural environment, etc., that are pivotal for ecotourism. Understanding of the sustainability concepts of ecotourism is vital in order to offer true ecotourism products and to gain ‘win-win’ benefits, in terms of conservation and economic gains.

In addition, there is no coordinated effort among the relevant government stakeholders of ecotourism. The forest resource managing agencies have not given enough emphasis to the favourable benefits of ecotourism, particularly on the contribution it can make towards conservation. From the tourism sector also, there is no national level initiative to promote ecotourism. Since forest-based ecotourism has both environment and tourism components in it, coordinated activities are necessary for the development of forest-based ecotourism. However, at present, the environment and tourism agencies are operating within their boundaries, with minimal or no coordination.

The natural forest resources of the country are legally owned and managed by two state agencies, namely, the Forest Department (FD) and the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC). The agencies do not possess the required resources and skills to manage forest-based ecotourism. As a result, the role of the private sector has become pivotal, as they have the required skills, investment capability, links with tourism networks, as well as previous experience in tourism, which is a considerable advantage when promotingforest-based ecotourism. However, bringing together these two categories of stakeholders is a challenging task.

Some of the businesses that attach the moniker ‘eco’ to their names do not comply with the sustainable concepts of ecotourism. This leads to thecreation of a mismatch between the demanded products, and the actual products offered, and consequentlythe ‘ecotourists’ are likely to lose confidence in the Sri Lankan ecotourism industry. This might also lead to the deterioration of the country’s image as a future destination for ecotourism.

Moreover, the present legislative framework is not comprehensive enough to provide legal regulations for forest-based ecotourism. The Environment Act (number /year ??) provides legal regulations for only mass tourism activities and small-scale tourism activities, butecotourism is ignored.Since forest-based ecotourism takes place in fragile natural environments and socio-cultural set-ups, a legal framework should be in place to assure sustainability. Present environment and tourism policies are not adequate to address the issues of the possible negative environmental and socio-cultural impacts of forest-based ecotourism.

What Needs to Be Done?

There is a need to establish a well-coordinated mechanism among the tourist agencies and environment agencies. At a ministerial level, this could be facilitated through an Inter-Ministerial Committee to identify the existing conflicts among tourism policies and initiatives within environment policies.

This has to be followed-up by assignment of clear roles for relevant stakeholders. Formulation of required rules and guidelines, setting required standards, effective law enforcement, monitoring and facilitation, and marketing, can be undertaken by the state agencies. The private sector will have to play an important role in managing the businesses as entrepreneurs. NGOs can play the role of assisting local communities engage inforest-based ecotourism, and facilitate the achievement of community benefits. The role of provincial councils is also important in the effective allocation of resources for the development of forest-based ecotourism, at local level.

At the same time, private sector participation in forest-based ecotourism should be enhanced. Partnering with the private sector is a pre-requisite in forest-based ecotourism, since the resource managing agencies (FD and DWLC) do not have experience in managing tourism.

Private entrepreneurs can engage in ecotourism, under the rules and regulations imposed by the state, in order to avoid possible negative consequences. Private-public partnerships can play an important role with regard to this.

Finally, the establishment of a certification programmefor forest-based ecotourism is essential in order to avoid the ‘fake’ ecotourism businesses. It will help to ensure that existing businesses are adhering to true ecotourism principles, and genuine forest-based ecotourism products are offered and thereby, secure Sri Lanka’s potential as a future ecotourism destination.

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Sri Lanka ranked one of the best tourist destinations in the world

TUI Travel which is one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups, with over 220 trusted brands in 180 countries and more than 30 million customers, has ranked Sri Lanka as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

TUI Travel which is one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups, with over 220 trusted brands in 180 countries and more than 30 million customers, has ranked Sri Lanka as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

The company is now planning to widen their horizons by getting involved in the development of tourist infrastructure in Sri Lanka to lure tourists from all over the world.

The Chief Executive Officer of TUI Travel Mr.  Peter Long has said that Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has a lot of potential and needs large scale operations in every way. He has said that Sri Lanka is an exciting tourist destination which could be easily promoted among tourists and TUI intends to bring many tourists as much as possible, while helping the country to develop the tourist infrastructure to a very high standard.

Mr. Peter Long was on a short visit to Sri Lanka to explore tourist opportunities in the country. His trip was facilitated by Aitken Spence, which has a joint venture hotel and other businesses projected with TUI. Mr. Peter Long has also said that they want to operate the Dreamliner Boeing 747 aircraft to Sri Lanka and charter more than 300 tourists to Sri Lanka. This aircraft is among the World’s most recognized and the company owns the operational expertise to provide customer satisfaction to the maximum.

Mr. Peter Long has also said that Sri Lanka needs more hotel rooms with bigger type of hotels to promote tourism in Sri Lanka. He has said that the reason for the tourist industry to flourish in Sri Lanka was that the country has a stable government, which in turn is conducive to develop tourist infrastructure in Sri Lanka.

TUI which is a listed on the London Stock Exchange was formed on September 3, 2007 by the merger of First Choice Holidays PLC and the Tourism Division of TUI AG, which owns 56.4 percent of the company, operating in 180 countries and serving 30 million customers. It is headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex, England.

The company’s underlying operating profit is 443 million Sterling Pounds, with a market capitalization of 2.6 billion Sterling Pounds. The company has 143 aircraft and 3,500 retail shops in Europe. TUI is also number one leisure hotelier in Europe with nine bands. They were also a leader in online services in world tourism.


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