JKH wins six Presidential Awards
The Leisure Group of John Keells Group (JHK) won six Presidential
Awards for Travel and Tourism at the annual Presidential Awards ceremony
last week at the BMICH under the patronage of Prime Minister Ratnasiri
The Cinnamon Grand Colombo was adjudged the Best Five Star City Hotel
at this year’s Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism. General
Manager Rohan Karr received the award which was presented in recognition
of the hotel’s continued influence in the hospitality sector. Cinnamon
Grand continues to emphasize its image as the ultimate destination for
“As a three-year old brand conceptualized in Sri Lanka, we feel great
pride in receiving this award for the second consecutive year, in lieu
of our indigenous origins, “ said Karr. “Cinnamon Grand is the first
property of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, the hospitality brand of the
John Keells Group. In three years, the brand has undergone significant
growth and has become a premier venue in Colombo for business travellers,
vacationers and diners alike.”
John Keells Team including General Manager Cinnamon Grand -
Rohan Karr, Head of Leisure Inbound Sector - Vasantha Leelananda,
CEO - Chaaya Hotels & Resorts -Jayantissa Kehelpannala with
Minister Milinda Moragoda and Nalin Attygalle Chairman, Panel of
Judges are in the picture.
Cinnamon Grand guarantees legendary Sri Lankan hospitality through an
offering of luxury, comfort, creativity and discovery. All this is
possible due to the efforts made by the Cinnamon Grand’s workforce, who
strive everyday towards the hotel’s success.
Cinnamon Grand has a unique blend of hospitality, service and cuisine
and sets excellent standards and revolutionizes the very definition of
hospitality in Sri Lanka with innovative ideas which conforms to its
theme of “indulgence for all ages”. The conglomerate’s Destination
Management Companies, Walkers Tours and Whittalls Travels, won five
awards of the six categories applied for.
Nature Odyssey, the adventure and nature brand of Walkers Tours, won
the Presidential Award for the Best Adventure Tourism Operator. Nature
Odyssey has been instrumental in initiating innovative packages and
experiences for foreign and local tourists. Their expertise is focused
on adventure and nature tourism, allowing the world to experience Sri
Lanka’s rich biodiversity.
They pioneered Whale Watching in Sri Lanka and currently carry out a
very successful program with the Ceylon Fisheries Harbours Corporation.
The Best Charter Airline of the Year was awarded to Condor Airlines, who
collaborates with their local ground handling partner, Walkers Tours, in
promoting Sri Lanka through extensive campaigns.
The German airline owned by Thomas Cook has been operating in Sri
Lanka for over 40 years, in spite of turbulent times, clearly signifying
its commitment to Sri Lankan tourism.
Meanwhile, the coveted award for the Best Chauffeur Guide went to
Ananda Yatawara of Walkers Tours. Yatawara has over 33 years experience
in tourism and has been with Walkers Tours since 1975.
Kuoni Travel was the winner for the second successive year of the
Presidential Award for the Destination Loyal Partner - Foreign Tour
Operator Category. The award was received by Whittalls Travels, the
Destination Management Company of the John Keells Group who has
represented Kuoni since 1993 in Sri Lanka.
Whittalls Travels recently were runners-up in the Kuoni UK 2008 Agent
of the Year Award amongst over 50 Destination Management Companies
Theekshana Wijesinghe of Whittalls Travels and Walkers Tours was
adjudged Best National Guide Lecturer.
Head of Leisure Inbound Sector, Vasantha Leelananda said. “We are a
wholely Sri Lankan entity, we are fiercely proud of our country and
firmly believe that we have a world class destination to offer. We
benchmark ourselves against the best in the world and ensure benefits
accrue to all our stakeholders - employees, suppliers and partners.
Deputy Chairman John Keells Holdings and President of the Leisure
Group Ajit Gunewardene said, “We are delighted with the six Presidential
Awards we have received.