Hambantota gearing for major tourist boom
With rapid development taking place in Hambantota and many new
attractions being added to the area, tourism would become the number one
contributor to the district. Hambantota had been traditionally known for
its contribution to the GDP from the agriculture sector.
The leopard found in Yala
"However with many tourist attractions being added to the area and
the airport and harbour being added to the Hambantota Portfolio tourism
would soon surpass agriculture," former Hambantota District Association
President and Hambantota District Tourism Committee Chairman, Ganesha
Siriwardene said. He said already the hotel room strength in the area is
increasing as Hambantota is soon shifting from an overnight stay
destination to a three night stay with people having additional things
He said one of the great attractions still remains to be the Yala
National Park and with the end of terrorism new areas have been opened
and visitor numbers have increased in leaps and bounds. "In addition the
Bundala bird sanctuary too is attracting more visitors."
He also said that the Deep South Tourism Association is also looking
at introducing new attractions such as River Safaris and also whale
watching in Kirinda with the assistance of the Navy."
The proposed night animal safari park and the tropical park along
with the Korean Convention Hall will woo more visitors to the area.
He said the hosting of two Cricket World Cup matches in Suriyawewa in
Hambantota has given the destination the much needed international
exposure and the South Asian Beach Volleyball tournament to be hosted at
the end of the year too will give them additional exposure.
"However, the best thing that is happening to the area is the bid to
host the 2018 Commonwealth Games which has put Hambantota in the global
The entry of Shangri-La hotel chain to Hambantota has given investor
confidence and both Hambantota airport and harbour will result in the
area being able to cater to Charters and cruise ships.
Insurance Corporation too is expected to build a star class hotel and
many hotels such as Peacock Beach have already been upgraded to a four
star and have added rooms to their portfolio. The Ranmihitenna Tele
village too will bring additional guests including celebrities to the
area and these will create direct and indirect employment opportunities
increasing the money flow to the area.
SWITCH Asia advice helps Goldi Sands reduce energy bill
The SWITCH- Asia greening Sri Lanka hotels project which promotes
energy, water and waste management in the country's hotel sector have
become an important tool in energy and cost efficiency. There are many
beneficiaries in the hotel sector and Goldi Sands Hotel in Negombo which
implemented their recommendations have stood to gain much.
"We not only contribute in environment preservation, but also have
been able to take increased measures in staff welfare matters through
saving, Goldi Sands Chairman Eric Suriyasena told Daily News Business.
"We incur a huge electricity bill monthly and were able to save up to
Rs 200,000 monthly which encouraged us to properly implement the process
towards energy conservation. We have already installed a chilling plant
with an investment of Rs 9.9 million. We expect to recover the
investment through savings in the energy bill within few years," he
It is important to change the mindset towards environment
sustainability where attitudes play an important role. However much the
procedures are in place there will be no impact if we do not follow them
The hotel has installed new air conditioner units that save energy up
to 30 percent. This was all possible due to correct advice at the right
time as Goldi Sands underwent a refurbishment process at a cost of over
100 million recently. "This provided the hotel an opportunity to make
the necessary adjustments," he said.
The green certification is a valuable tool in attracting tourists and
this will help in the long run growth in the industry and the hotels
that are adhering to these procedures. The SME sector needs
encouragement by the government by way of low interest rate loans to
convert their hotels in to energy efficient entities.
Quantum leap in resort property sales
Sri Lanka's resort real estate sector is set to be Asia's next
attraction according to market research conducted by leading
international property consulting firm C9 Hotelworks.
Leading the surge is a new wave of foreign investment into resort
property along the Southern coastline of the country.
There will be multi-million dollar hotel managed pool villas as seen
in the other regional leisure destinations including Bali, Phuket and
Koh Samui which attract high networth buyers internationally.
Tourism is a leading catalyst for resort property as it links to
sustainable demand. The country's tourism will experience global brand
presence which augurs well for the industry, C9 Hotelworks Managing
Director Bill Barnett told Daily News Business.
"One benchmark project undertaken by us is the Six Senses Ahungalla
Resort which will launch 14 oceanfront luxury villas for sale by the
last quarter of this year. The pricing points are expected to set a new
standard for resort grade real estate in the country," he said.
An increasing number of hotel chains are lending their brands to
developers who view mixed use projects as attractive ways to minimize
long term debt and equity positions and enhance project returns.
While private holiday homes and villas have boosted the capacity
requirement and the resort area for a number of decades, with Galle
being the epicenter, development is set to move further South. "The
ultimate access and infrastructure improvements are certainly growth
prospects. The new toll road between Colombo and Matara will expedite
travel time is a saving for the tourists," he said.
Looking beyond Galle there is a noticeable uplift in projects from
Talpe's golden mile, down to Weligama and Mirissa Bay.
The latter highlights activity with the soon to complete six villa
luxury estate Nissala, built by a Hong Kong group who currently have one
property remaining priced at US $ 2.45 million.
The research conducted by C9 Hotelworks indicates that the Tangalle
area looks set to see major resort and property development in the short
and medium terms. The close proximity to Tangalle with its white sand
beaches and natural resorts make it an attractive target for
international hotel chains.