Mahaweli Reach invests Rs. 80 million on refurbishment
Mahaweli Reach Kandy
Mahaweli Reach Kandy a leading five star hotel in the area has
invested Rs. 80 million for a refurbishment program. The refurbishment
program is undertaken after nearly a decade.
The refurbishment would include the upgrading of 114 rooms and the
interior. According to Managing Director Mahaweli Reach, Jayantha
Panabokke, parquet floors would be introduced to the rooms along with
new carpeting and furniture.
The management has also introduced a state of the art gymnasium and a
business centre for the hotel. He said that 70 percent of the
refurbishment program is completed and the property would be ready for
The Mahaweli Reach also hosted the Sri Lanka's donor conference for
two days and the donors were happy with the hotel and the facilities it
The hotel now in partnership with Universal Holidays of the Maldives
offers 114 rooms with views of either the serene Mahaweli River, or the
All rooms are equipped with a telephone incorporating IDD facilities,
TV, piped music, mini-bar, wall-to-wall carpeting, a private balcony-
all supplemented by 24-hour room service, steeped in the age old
In addition they also have a Presidential Suite and Executive Suite.
They have the largest swimming pool in Kandy.
He said that Kandy though a world heritage site is still considered
as a transit destination where the average stay is around two days.
"Authorities must develop the city to attract tourists to stay longer,"
he said. A better cultural centre would be developed and more marketing
should be done to promote Kandy.
Caution should be also taken to maintain the Kandyan culture when new
commercial sites are approved. "This would maintain the historic value
for which Kandy is famous for," he said. (SS)
'Rediscover Sri Lanka' launched
BY IRANGIKA Range
SRILANKAN Airlines in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB)
and the Tourism Cluster has launched a local tourism industry focussed
campaign called "Rediscover Sri Lanka" investing US $4.1 million to
return to the global tourism market which is fast recovering from last
This 100-day campaign consisting of commercials on international
television and press was started on May 16 in Europe, the Middle East,
Far East and South Asia. An Internet campaign is also being conducted
with banner advertisement on 25 major travel websites.
CEO of SriLankan Airlines Peter Hill said that this campaign would
definitely change the mindset of both the global tourism industry and
the travelling public about visiting Sri Lanka and enjoying a vacation
SriLankan Airlines is providing US $ 2.1 million in funding the first
two months of the campaign and the next stage will be financed by SLTB.
The Tourism Cluster will provide US$ one million to this campaign.
"Television commercials of this campaign had been tested with the
expatriate community in Sri Lanka and in France through Sri Lanka
Tourism's office there. We will be re-evaluating the campaign in June
and looking at ways to improve upon it," he said.
Chairman of the SLTB, Udaya Nanayakkara said although tsunami
affected the tourism industry, the tourists are coming back. With
Rediscover Sri Lanka, we are showing the world that we are ready," he
Signs of the rediscovery are already evident, with 167,511 arrivals
in the first four months of 2005, after the tsunami it's up by 3 percent
from last year," he said. He said that many branded hotel chains are
being set up in Sri Lanka, such as Aman Resorts, Banyan Tree, Sheraton
Sri Lanka is also repositioning itself globally, and attracting more
high-end tourists. Average spending per day per tourist rose to US $ 74
in 2004, up from US $ 62 a year earlier. The target for 2005 is US $ 84
per tourist per day.
Chairman of the Tourism Cluster, Prema Cooray said consumer promotion
is vital at this stage.
It is significant that all stakeholders in Sri Lanka's tourism
industry have come on board to participate in this campaign. As a
tourist cluster we pledge to grant US $ 3 million for Sri Lanka's
tourism recovery efforts, he said.
Colombo hosts SAARC tourism Summit
SRI LANKA will host the annual SAARC Tourism Ministers Summit on July
29 at Taj Samudra Colombo. This is the second occasion that the Summit
would be hosted in Sri Lanka.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Convention
Bureau and the SriLankan Airlines too have pledged their assistance for
the Summit. Over 100 guests and their spouses would attend the event.
According to the Vice President of SAARC Tourism Council N. Rajabdeen,
there are 1.5 billion people in the region and one of the prime
objectives is to promote tourism within the region.
He said that while the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal adopt Visa on
arrival policy other countries are yet to make progress in this area.
"This is one of the key issues in the agenda and we are hoping to make
some progress in this area," he said.
He said that high air travel within the region in some sectors too
would be taken in to discussion. "There are some instances where a
passenger can pay 20,000 extra and obtain a return air ticket to London
rather than flying to a SAARC destination," he said. Improving air links
within the region too would be discussed at the Summit.
The region has a good hotel structure with all the countries having
adequate rooms and the only problem is the lack of air facilities. "We
are also hoping to take this issue with the SriLankan Airlines," he
said. More code share flights and new Airlines emerging too would solve
this problem to some extent.
Minister of Investment Promotion, Industries and Tourism Anura
Bandaranaike will be the Chief guest of the event.
Emirates to build five star hotel
Emirates is embarking on yet another large-scale capital investment,
only this time it's not an order for more aircraft. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin
Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, disclosed during a news
conference at the Arabian Travel Market that General Sheikh Mohammed Bin
Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence,
has approved plans for the construction by the airline of a new 5-star
Dhs 800 million (US $218 million) luxury hotel in Dubai.
In announcing the launch of the new 70-storeyed 350 metres high
building on Sheikh Zayed Road, which will be among the world's five
tallest hotels, and also one of the largest in the U.A.E.
Sheikh Ahmed thanked the Crown Prince for his support of Emirates'
initiative and stressed the significance of the new landmark building as
another contribution of the airline towards realising Sheikh Mohammed's
vision of turning Dubai into one of the world's top business and tourist
Contemporary and futuristic in its design the Emirates hotel will
break new architectural ground with cantilever rooms and over 50 sky
terraces. When completed in 2008 it is certain to stand part with its
distinctive elevation in a stepped form, encased in a glass and
The hotel will offer 560 deluxe rooms, 112 suites and one
Presidential suite, each giving guests an unparalleled, panoramic view
of Dubai, including some of this most prestigious projects, such as the
Burj Dubai, Business Bay and the Dubai Financial Centre.
Commenting on the new initiative, Sheikh Ahmed said: "Last year Dubai
hosted 5.4 million visitors - an increase of almost nine per cent over
the year before, and the number is expected to treble by the end of this
Dubai's infrastructure must be prepared for this huge expansion in
tourist arrivals, and the Emirates new hotel is our contribution to the
city's efforts to meet the forecast demand for more hotel rooms.