Kalpitiya rich in tourism potential
The Kalpitiya Tourism zone if properly built and marketed could be a
major threat to the Maldivian tourism industry, said Sagara
Palihawardane Chairman of Rosen Renaissance.
Sagara Palihawardane at the ATM.
Speaking to Daily News Business at the Arabian Travel Mart, he said
that several operators in France and Germany have said that they would
send back to back groups for any type of hotel in Kalpitiya.
“One of the main reasons for Kalpitiya to be a hit among foreign
operators is because it is a hideaway location and the calm beaches
which are similar to the Maldives. In addition Kalpitiya would be a
cheaper destination than the Maldives and tourists could indulge in more
activities such as Whale watching, diving, para diving, snorkelling and
excursions to archaeological sites and wildlife safaris in the
neighbouring Wilpattu Sanctuary,” he said.
He said that among the other advantages, the tsunami threat in
Kalpitiya is almost zero since it is geographically shaded by India
covering the Indonesian tsunami prone area.
The government should provide the infrastructure and minimize the
current red tape for the Kalpitiya region to take off.
Palihawardane said that they would put up 50 rooms in Kalpitiya on a
five acre property. “We have done some research and found that this
would be a very profitable venture. We hope to invest around Rs. 350
million,” he said.
In addition he said that they are looking at investing in a purpose
built hotel for Nuwara Eliya rather than converting a bungalow or
refurbishing an existing hotel. “We are looking at a 30 room property
for Nuwara Eliya,” he said.
Palihawardane said that they hope to start construction of these two
hotels by the end of this year when the necessary approval is received.
He said that he would tie up with a German partner to build the two
hotels with a total investment of around Rs.500 million.
In addition their first property, Rosen Hotel, the only four star
plus property in Kataragama would add 10 rooms by the end of the year
increasing its total room strength to 65. Their second property, the
boutique hotel in Weligama has 25 rooms and with these investments by
end of 2013 the group would have a total room strength of around 175.