Sri Lanka’s leisure group plans new resorts in East, centre
Sri Lanka’s privately held Jetwing leisure group, is planning new project in the central and war-torn eastern areas of the island that will add 500 rooms over the next two years catering to a post-war boom, officials said.
“We are really excited about the East and we want to build in Trincomalee, Arugam Bay and Pasikudah,” Jetwing chairman Hiran Cooray said.
“We think there is lot of potential in the East.”
Tourist arrivals have increased by 46 percent last year and the five months up to May arrivals have increased 40 percent to 328,000 from a year earlier.
Pasikudah, a once popular resort destination before ethnic riots and the Tamil Tiger insurgency is making a gradual comeback with hoteliers aggressively constructing hotels along the bay.
In May 2011 Maalu Maalu Resorts and Spas opened a 40 chalet fishing village style resort in Pasikudah, the first resort hotel to complete construction in the small fishing hamlet since the end of the war in May 2009.
The Jetwing group is looking at building an managing a 750 million rupee 80 room resort in Pasikudah.
“We are looking at 50 rooms in the first phase and another 30 in the second,” managing director of Jetwing Hotels, Ruwan Samarasinghe said.
“Construction will begin as soon as approval comes.”
Jetwing upgraded a hotel in Negambo, near Sri Lanka’s international airport in the Western coast Friday to 4-star standard Friday relaunching it as ‘Jetwing Blue’. The firm said it spent 8 million US dollars to spruce up the 112 room property spread across nine acres.
The group has four properties in Negambo.
The company has already announced plans to build hotels in Colombo, Jaffna, Uppuveli and Nilaveli in Trincomalee, Kandy, Yala and Dambulla.
Jetwing says an 80 room four star hotel is on the cards for Dambulla, which will cost 800 million rupees to build.
The construction of the hotel will consolidate Jetwing’s presence in the island’s cultural triangle of Anudhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla where the main tourist attraction is Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress.
Construction of the hotel in Dambulla is set to begin over the next six month.
“We hope to add 500 hotel rooms to the industry within the next 24 months”, Jetwing’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Trevor Reckerman said.
Tourism authorities are expecting 750,000 arrivals this year and plan to attract 2.5 million tourists by 2016. Officials estimate that the industry needs 35,000 hotel rooms to cater to the demand up from the current 15,000.