Deep South Tourism yet to pick up - Moshi Perera | Daily News

Deep South Tourism yet to pick up - Moshi Perera

Deep South Tourism is yet to take off and it’s a sleeping giant in the Sri Lankan tourism sector, said General Manager of Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa, Moshi Perera.

He said that with the rapid development in the Hambantota Port and the surrounding area along with proposed extension of the highway from Matara would add more value to Deep South Tourism.

The leasing of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese company is opening up new corporate business to the region. “The cruise Tourism sector too is picking up and several cruise liners have included the Hambantota Port to its Itinerary.”

He however said that there was a new line of business that was picking from the UAE expat market but this has dipped due to Fly Dubai pulling out of the Mattala Airport. “There are several star class hotels and they should now try to get-together and promote Charter flights.” He said that Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa is now witnessing increase occupancy year on year. “We see an increase of occupancy from both local and foreign clientele and the appetite for their Golf Course too is increasing.”

The hotel is also offering special bank card promotions to Sri Lankan’s and this too has a very good response. He said the hotel’s average occupancy was around 55% last year and this year they expect to pass the 60% mark.

With the Chinese company taking over the management of Hambantota Port the hotel has also witness sharp increase in their conference market and this is expected to continue.

He said that many Sri Lankans are also enrolling for the Shangri-La’s hotel loyalty program, ‘Golden Circle” where the guests could get additional points and benefits in their hotel in Colombo and all over the world and also have online checking using this ÁPP’”

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa, has one of the largest banquets and MICE facilities in the entire South which could accommodate over 1,000 guests. The hotel is also now very popular for Indian weddings.

 

“Our main market is Chinese followed by European and Sri Lankans and guests visiting Colombo hotel also taking and extended holiday to our hotel.”

The hotel is one of the first international chain hotels to be set up in Sri Lanka out of Colombo and has 300 rooms with 20 suites. It has three swimming pools with special emphasis for entertainment facilities for children that include water slides, indoor play area, water sports facilities, with Play Gym.

Commenting on their CSR activities he said that they invest on improving standards of several schools in the area and also one of their priorities are to offer employment to youth in the area. “We already have 700 staff out of which 45% are from the area.

Born in Sri Lanka and being in the leisure industry for over 27 years having worked in London, Dubai, Kenya Switzerland he said that this is the first local assignment for him.

 

 

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