Posts Tagged ‘Travel News’

Cinnamon Treasure Hunt promotes east coast

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Cinnamon Treasure Hunt 2015, a mega familiarisation tour for French travel agents, is underway hosted by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts together with SriLankan Airlines and Walkers Tours. The program has partnered with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, during the east coast leg of its five-day tour.
The group of 63 key travel agents from France were hosted at Trinco Blu by Cinnamon while they visited key locations in the area following an eventful tour of Polonnaruwa, Minneriya and Sigiriya.
During their stay in Trincomalee, a crucial networking opportunity was created via a one on one ‘speed dating’ workshop held in Batticaloa on 13 October for 80 service providers from the region. The local stakeholders including hoteliers from the SME sector were afforded the opportunity to showcase their products to the highly relevant audience and make valuable direct business contacts for the first time on home soil. The travel agents were privy to a detailed presentation highlighting the tourism activities in the East.
French travellers are amongst the top five markets for tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. The Cinnamon Treasure Hunt aims to equip a carefully selected group of leading French travel agents with a more informed understanding of the country’s offerings and build a lasting impression.
Speaking on the benefit to the local industry, Kanchana Abeywickrama, Associate Operations Officer, IFC said, “Our partnership with Cinnamon Hotels forms part of a larger IFC program to boost sustainable tourism in the East while supporting small businesses and economic growth. Programs such as this are critical to raising awareness on the attractions and services available in the east.”



Biggest Spanish Incentive Group arrives in Sri Lanka


The Spanish holidaymakers expressing their joy after climbing the historic Sigiriya rock fortress

The biggest Spanish Incentive Group to Sri Lanka arrived in the country on May 11, comprising 115 of the best sales executives of a leading corporate institution in Spain.

They toured Sri Lanka for six days, visiting key attractions in Kandy, Passikudah, Sigiriya and in The Cultural Triangle. Highlights of the tour were coral planting at Passekudah, cycle tour through Polonnaruwa and a Jeep Safari at the Minneriya National Park. The tourists said it was a truly unique experience and would take the intiative to promote Sri Lanka as a destination.

All ground handling arrangements for the group was undertaken by Connaissance De Ceylan, a pioneer in the inbound tourism industry of Sri Lanka with over 30 years’ experience, offering guests holiday experiences ‘that will always be remembered and cherished.’


Etihad Airways named ‘Airline of the Year’ at Aviation 100 awards


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has clinched top honours at the 2015 Aviation 100 Awards, organised by Airline Economics magazine.

The prestigious awards are voted for by the industry and recognise outstanding achievement in the aerospace sector, with Etihad Airways claiming the coveted ‘Airline of the Year’ title.

The awards follow a milestone year, which saw the national flag carrier quantum leap its level of growth, innovation and service. In 2014 the airline launched 10 new routes including three in North America, and injected significant investment into new equity partnerships.

Last year, Etihad Airways also revealed a brand new look with new livery, uniforms and onboard offerings, with its first-of-kind ‘Residence by Etihad’™ concept changing the face of luxury commercial air travel. The Aviation 100 awards join a growing list of acclaimed international accolades won by Etihad Airways – testament to the airline’s unprecedented scale of achievement since launching in 2003.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways said: “We are immensely proud that the achievements we made in 2014 have been recognised by our peers in the industry. These awards remind us of the significant progress the airline has made in such a short space of time.


Jetstar Asia and SriLankan Airlines launch new codeshare


SriLankan Airlines customers will soon enjoy greater access to cities throughout South East Asia and Australia as part of a new codeshare agreement with Jetstar Asia.

From April 5, SriLankan customers will be able to travel on codeshare services operated by Jetstar Asia on seven routes from Jetstar Asia’s hub in Singapore. The cities of Darwin, Phnom Penh and Phuket will be new destinations to SriLankan’s customers. The other destinations to be included are Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur and Perth.

SriLankan passengers will benefit from the convenience of a single ticket itinerary that includes SriLankan’s baggage allowance. Passengers will enjoy a seamless transfer at Singapore’s Changi airport, with baggage being through checked and onward boarding passes being received at the initial departure point.

SriLankan Airlines CEO Mr Chandrasena considers the new codeshare agreement as a means for enhanced tourism between the Sub continent and Asia Pacific regions.

“We consider this a tremendous opportunity for Sri Lankans who can enjoy greater connectivity from Colombo via its gateway in Singapore to fascinating new destinations of the South East and cities in Australia. Passengers from those destinations too will now have seamless travel options taking advantage of SriLankan Airlines’ daily services from Singapore to our Colombo hub.

“Additionally, our customers will be able to connect with our daily frequencies to India, Pakistan and the Maldives further boosting tourism between the two regions.

“With Australia being home to a large Sri Lankan expatriate community, the services to Perth and Darwin with Jetstar Asia will provide them greater connectivity and convenience when travelling to Sri Lanka to visit families and friends back home,” said Mr Chandrasena.

SriLankan Airlines is one of the largest South Asia carriers and the expanded cooperation will provide passengers attractive itineraries as well as enhance Jetstar’s regional footprint, said Jetstar Asia CEO Mr Barathan Pasupathi.

“SriLankan Airlines’ customers will have access to Jetstar Asia’s extensive network in Southeast Asia and Australia, while transferring enjoying Singapore Changi’s world-class facilities” said Mr Pasupathi.

Mr Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group’s Senior Vice President of Market Development, said, “Changi Airport welcomes this development between SriLankan Airlines and Jetstar Asia as not only would it promote greater people flow between South Asia and Southeast Asia/Australia via Changi, but also grow both airlines’ businesses in Singapore”.

SriLankan Airlines currently operates up to three daily services to Singapore.

SriLankan Airlines has interlined with all airlines in the Jetstar Group since June 2014.

The Jetstar Group will now have five codeshare partners on selected routes – Qantas Airways, Emirates, Japan Airlines, American Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.


SriLankan Airlines partners with World Travel Awards

SriLankan Airlines, the national airline of Sri Lanka, has become an event partner with the World Travel Awards for the first ever Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony, to be held in the Maldives this Sunday.

The Black tie event will be held on May 12 at the Paradise Island Resort in the Lankanfinolhu of North Male’ Atoll.

SriLankan Airlines head of worldwide sales, Lal Perera, has said the Airline considers it a privilege to be associated with the World Travel Awards, which, according to Breaking Travel News, is widely acknowledged as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ and is seen as a premier networking event for industry professionals from all over the world.

“SriLankan Airlines considers it a privilege to be associated with the World Travel Awards as an event partner on this memorable occasion, which coincides with Maldives celebrating forty triumphant years in Tourism Promotion,” Perera has said.

SriLankan Airlines, and its predecessors, Air Ceylon and Air Lanka have been operating to the Maldives since the 1970s.

“SriLankan Airlines has transported more passengers to and from the Maldives than any other airline and in addition to Male; we are currently considering operating to Gan Island as well,” Perera has added.

Sion Rapson, global business director, World Travel Awards, has said that SriLankan continues to be a major driving force as a carrier in the region, and is extremely proactive in their commitment towards tourism in the Indian Ocean and Maldives.


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Giritale Hotel Mystically Romantic

Built on a 14 acre land nearly three decades ago on the bunds of the 12th Century Giritale Tank, Giritale Hotel is one of the leading hotels in the area with a magnificent view of the tranquil blue water dotted with green tree spots as a backdrop.

Managed by Carsons Cumberbatch Hotels, Giritale Hotel boasts of 42 rooms that are spacious and comfortable while all rooms are equipped with a range of modern amenities and with a magnificent view.

Standard facilities offered in all of these units include A/C and an attached bath. Luxury deluxe rooms offer star class facilities including LCD TV, IDD telephone facilities, piped music, 24-hour room service, mini bar and a private balcony.

The Hotel completed its Rs. 20 million refurbishment project to facelift their eight luxury rooms, lobby area and the restaurant.

The refurbishment programme was completed last year, pushing the property to 3 star status, attracting more inflow to the hotel.

‘The renovation was carried out room by room basis and in keeping with the current trend, the facilities were upgraded. We have introduced novel facilities to the rooms new LCD TV, mini bar and new AC’ said Resident Manager, Giritale Hotel, veteran hotelier, T. Ganeshan.


This has resulted in Giritale Hotel being popular among ‘frequent’ guests, both foreign and local. The restaurant at Giritale under the guidance of bar and restaurant Manager R. M. A. B. Rathnayake offers the very best in Western, Eastern, Chinese and spicy Sri Lankan cuisine, prepared by a team of expert chefs. Giritale hotel is popular for family outings, conferences, workshops and for honeymooners due to its romantic setting.

‘The hotel offers conference facilities with the necessary AV equipment to make sure your meeting or business event is executed smoothly. A reception hall is also available for banquets and special functions with excellent services from well trained staff members’ Mr Ganeshan added.


‘Jeep Safaris to the Minneriya National Park can be organised, where elephant gatherings will be sighted during the coming months. Excursions to Polonnaruwa, Medirigiriya, Dambulla and Dimbulagala are some of the other attractions on the cards. For the more adventurous traveller the vast jungles in the region beckon you for bush walking and trekking’ said Ganeshan.

‘It is already a venue for honeymooners and attracts more business from this segment’.

The tranquil atmosphere in the hotel is an added attraction for wedding functions.



Heritance Kandalama and Ahungalla shine at national cocktail and flair competition 2012

A group of upcoming bartenders from Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Ahungalla Hotels walked away with key wins at the recently concluded National BarTenders’ Cocktails and Flair Competition 2012, organised by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates’ Association.

Indika Kumara Marasinghe, Praveen Sampath Fernando, Gihan Sadanayake, Iresh Tharanga Mayadunna, Sithara Wickramasinghe and Roshan Madushanka Malagammana grabbed the limelight for their flaring and innovation.

‘What is noteworthy is that all of them joined us in trainee positions from remote parts of the country.

They worked hard, moved up the ranks and never passed an opportunity to learn new skills, which is very encouraging for us,” said Mr.Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Indika Kumara Marasinghe

Bringing pride to Heritance Kandalama, 27-year-old Indika Kumara Marasinghe, a native of Pelwehera, Dambulla, was adjudged the winner of the National Marie Brizard competition.

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