Archive | July, 2012


It is best to target EEC & Asia-Pacific Region for Sri Lanka Export Market

Posted on 22 July 2012 by admin

In the quest for growth and export promotion, Sri Lanka should tread strategically and work strengthening its target market. While the entire globe is up for grabs there are limitations that pose a challenge to successful entry into the world market. Both the public and private sector in Sri Lanka must look at this very closely and focus only on areas or regions that offer greater potential than the rest. Taking this into context, the European Union, Asia and the Far East Region have emerged as steady trading partners for long-term growth. Due to short transit times and cheaper ocean freight rates Asia-Pacific Region is a potential goldmine for Sri Lanka export market. North America somehow seems far from Sri Lanka's shores to gain meaningful entry on a big scale.

Business rendezvous begins tomorrow:

Thailand Roadshow to hit Colombo

Over 40 Sri Lankan companies with over100 Lankan business personnel were to participate in the glamorous Thai business feasta to be hled in Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel Colombo tomorrow. Premier Thai travel agents, hotels , entertainment and theme park and airlines will join their counterparts in the glittering evening in Colombo. "Amazing Thailand" Roadshow is organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo and Thai Tourism Industry.

TAT has organized the Amazing Thailand' Roadshow to update tourism products to the Sri Lankan counter part. "We would like to make the Sri Lankan market aware of different products available in Thailand through presentations.For example for family, Thailand's amazing entertainment parks and shopping opportunities, for youth we have soft adventure, and for religious folk our historic pristine Buddhist circuits etc," said Suladda Sarutilavan, Assistant Director, TAT.

Several Thai media organisations with scores of Sri Lankan counterparts would grace the occasion.This is the first time after two years that TAT is organizing the Roadshow in Colombo for which media from Thailand would participate. Several presentations and lucky draws for participants have been organized. "This is going to be a big event to enhance relationship between the two countries, Sri lanka and Thailand since both share Buddhist teachings," said a TAT official.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor Prakit Piriyakiet said that a survey by MasterCard Worldwide, published on which is a popular international leisure and travel website, found that Bangkok was international holiday-maker's third-most favorite destination in 2012.

In 2011,Sri Lanka visitor arrivals totaled 53,626, up 7.82 % over 2010.During January-April 2012,Thailand welcomed 22,132 Sri Lankan visitors, up by 17.24 % over the same period of 2011, said Phanom Kaributra, Executive Director, ASEAN South Asia and South Pacific Region Department of Tourism Authority of Thailand " There is tremendous potential for tourism development between the two country's because the similarity of the cultural aspects and South Asia, was a major part of our tourism focus for 2012."

It has the best possible of all worlds "demographics, proximity and spending power. In addition to India, we also see strong potential to boost arrivals from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka," he said.

The Amazing Thailand' Roadshow would further boost Thai,Sri Lanka business ties an official said.


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Rs.20 billion investment for Hyatt Regency Colombo hotel project

Posted on 19 July 2012 by admin

The Hyatt Regency Colombo hotel project was initiated yesterday with an investment of Rs.20 billion after the signing of the BoI agreement granting the new developer, Sinolanka Hotels and Spa (Pvt) Ltd., the necessary approval.

The project, expected to be completed by December 2013, will be developed as a five-star luxury hotel complex consisting of approximately 565 rooms with around 94,000 square meters in built up area and 43 stories in height.

It will be managed by Hyatt International under the Hyatt Regency brand and the terms of engagement have been concluded.

Speaking at a function held within the construction premises, Gamini Senarath, Chairman, Sinolanka Hotels and Spa explained that the land was originally leased to the previous developer in 2003 for scheduled completion of the project in 2008.

“The half built Celestial Tower building had been abandoned for the last three years. In November 2011, this was acquired by the government under the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act with an intention to expeditiously revive the project without further dilapidation,” he said.

In March 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal to redevelop the property, a fully-fledged multi-faceted hotel complex to support the government initiative of tourism infrastructure development and to meet the demand from the growing tourists in the country.

“The Cabinet approval required private and state entities including Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) Limited to form a company, inter alia to ensure the revival of this property,” Senarath noted.

He added that the Cabinet also approved the vesting of the property with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) which was the original owner of the property and for the UDA to grant a 99-year fresh lease to the new developer, Sinolanka Hotels. Sinolanka has given a 20-year management contract to Hyatt International.
Based on this Cabinet approval, the new developer has initiated the revival of this project and a consortium of investors consisting private and state entities including the SLIC Ltd. is expected to provide the required capital.

Once completed, the proposed hotel, Hyatt Regency Colombo will boast of breathtaking features and modern facilities with generous banqueting and meeting spaces, authentic food and beverage outlets, entertainment and adequate parking for the visitors.

Meanwhile, Hiran De Silva, Project Chairman, Sinolanka Hotels pointed out that guests arriving at the ground floor lobby can hand over their luggage and proceed directly towards the high speed lifts leading to the Sky Lobby Reception and Lobby Lounge on the 13th floor.

“This Lobby will also be the main access point to the lavishly decorated Banquet Hall and Conference Rooms on Level 4,” he said.

Hyatt Regency Colombo will have the highest ratio suites/total inventory at 11 percent compared with the other existing five-star properties in Colombo. The Regency Club Lounge for executive floor guests is housed on the 29th floor.

According to De Silva, the hotel will contain approximately 90 residential suites for long stay guests designed to meet international features and standards.

Hyatt International is one of the foremost global hotel chains. This global hospitality company has been in existence for over 50 years and currently operates 488 hotels across 45 countries under seven premier lodging brands including premium brands such as ‘Park Hyatt’, ‘Grand Hyatt’ and ‘Hyatt Regency’.

The new developer has engaged some of the well-known industry professionals to design and build the complex including the award-winning interior designer, Bilkey Lilnas Designs of Hong Kong, restaurant designer Super Potato from Japan, design architect Design Consortium Ltd. and MAGA Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. as the main contractor.

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Cinnamon Grand , the grandest venue for events and banquets

Posted on 14 July 2012 by admin

The Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Colombo’s premier five-star hotel, is the grandest venue for banquets in the city, with the hotel fully geared to cater for any function, ensuring that you make your mark with signature events in true Cinnamon Grand style.

The hotel features a host of banqueting facilities and venues that can accommodate any gathering, from board meetings of 10 members to weddings with 600 guests, without missing a step and ensuring that every event ends on the perfect note!

From weddings and cocktails to corporate events of all shapes and sizes, the Cinnamon Grand’s 10 meeting spaces enable the hotel to offer a wide choice of venues for every possible occasion.

The vast Atrium Lobby is a plush open area with a unique setting, which can hold 250 guests. It is extremely popular for weddingsand cocktails, given the refreshing layout and picturesque perfection, which is popular among wedding photographers. Four meeting rooms situated around it provide further space that can be divided according to customers’ needs.

The Oak Room is a grander, more formal venue, which is an eclectic mix of contemporary and classical décor with warm oak wood panels and expansive seating. The room can hold 300 to 500 guests and 600 for sit-down events. Popular for weddings, conferences and exhibitions, the Oak Room can be split into four rooms.

The hotel also differentiates in terms of menus on offer, giving customers the option of tailor-made menus for every function, without limiting them to specified menus according to price. It also has snack and cocktail menus. Guests are at liberty to create a customised menu at their discretion, with per item rates featured, says Cinnamon Grand’s Head of Banquet Sales Vishadini Fernando.

The hotel offers the services of an executive chef on request for assistance in putting together the best menu, taking guests’ nationalities into account to ensure there is something for every palate.

It’s not just floral décor, draping and setting up of halls for events that the hotel specialises in; it also boasts state-of-the-art technology in its multi-function ballrooms and meeting rooms. From the latest lighting equipment, to high speed connectivity, audio-visual equipment, assistance of experienced event planners and ground staff and accommodation options in its luxurious rooms, the Cinnamon Grand offers all this and more.

The hotel’s flower room in fact offers yet another value addition in the form of over a dozen styles of free table décor that guests can select for banquet functions. It is also able to cater to specific flower décor at reasonable rates, she says.

The Cinnamon Grand’s banquet team plays a huge role in making every event a success and the hotel aims to be ‘top of the mind’ for any function and the best banquet location in South East Asia.

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Maharaja Palace opens it doors with glamour and royalty

Posted on 14 July 2012 by admin

Maharaja Palace opened its doors with true Indian royalty, style and glamour offering authentic North Indian cuisine for those with impeccable taste.

Situated on Rajakeeya Mawatha, Colombo 7, Maharaja Palace provides a truly royal experience. The gala three day opening of Maharaja Palace, which was held on July 10, 11 and 12 was exuberantly rich and gave an insight as to what this unique restaurant has to offer. The brilliant white mansion stood amazingly against the night sky while the colours of the lights created a soothing atmosphere. Two regally decorated white horses gave an impression of a Maharaja’s Palace and the brightly lit flame torches enhanced the ambience.

As the magnificent mahogany doors opened, the fragrance of the flowers promised a magical evening. Beautifully attired girls greeted the guests while presenting shawls to the gentlemen and giving bindhis to the ladies. The warm sounds of the bangara drummers as the guests entered gave a red carpet welcome to each and every guest in true Maharaja Palace style. The distinguished invitees that were dressed glamorously colourful were Maharajas and Maharanis themselves and represented the creme of society.

The golden chandeliers with the light reflecting on the pristine white walls created a unique ambience that was enhanced by the conscientiously selected traditional Indian furniture. The murals reflecting Moghul art created the distinct impression of walking into a Maharaja’s Palace. The main dining room downstairs has a capacity for 75 guests, while there are five private dining rooms upstairs. Each private room has it own theme where colours vary from gold, burgundy, orange, green to blue creating an elegant but comfortable space. Four of the private dining rooms can accommodate seven to eight guests while the fifth, which is the largest private dining room can accommodate up to 16 persons. This larger room can also be separated into two compartments according to the requirement. The lounge upstairs provides a space for those who wishes to relax while they wait for their tables. While the authentic North Indian cuisine takes prime place, Maharaja Palace also has a bar overlooking a water feature, where various types of beverages are available to the guests.

The rich aromas of the cuisine floated in the air, the show kitchen comes under the experienced direction of Executive Chef M. Abubakar who has been with the renowned Intercontinental chain for over 20 years. The food prepared at the Maharaja Palace are all by trained Indian chefs thereby ensuring an authentic Indian experience. Nothing is left to be desired with the vast array of delectable North Indian dishes that reflect the Moghul tradition. Prepared using ingredients especially brought down from India, the menu consists of rich, creamy and spicy dishes. Starters were served with drinks while the main buffet consisted of fragrant biryani, succulent chicken tikka masala, mutton, fish, vegetarian dishes, salads appetizers and sweets. This was a gastronomical adventure for the diners. The food at Maharaja Palace is prepared using products from Halal certified suppliers. Furthermore, the food has no MSG added and does not contain any artificial flavouring. During dinner elegantly attired girls presented bangles to the ladies. The beautiful dancers and soothing oriental music heightened the experience, while mehendi artistes created intricate designs thereby contributing to the overall evening.

Maharaja Palace is open daily from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. – Lunch and 6.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. – dinner. For reservations contact 4886000.

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‘Jetliner Sunset Cruise’ tickets priced at Rs.3900 per adult

Posted on 09 July 2012 by admin

Sunset Cruise: Party onboard

‘Jetliner Sunset Cruise’, the latest addition to Colombo’s entertainment industry, has set sailed its second voyager, last Sunday.
‘Jetliner’, Sri Lanka’s only cruise ship operated by the Navy in and around Colombo Port, has now opened its doors to all Sri Lankans with their monthly party on aboard package.

This premier ocean entertainment ship will drops its anchor for their July voyager on Saturday, 21 July.�‘This will be a monthly affair. We will be organizing this sunset cruise on a Saturday on a monthly basis so that families, groups or even an individual can join the evening floating fun for a nominal package’ said Captain Anura Danapala, the skipper of the cruise.

This package includes the sunset cruise setting at 5.00 pm, a buffet dinner, DJ music for entertainment, magic shows, face painting and cartoon movies for children and the Dreamron professional fashion show.

Jetliner Queen of the month and best dancing couple are some of the attraction of the cruise.�The cruise tickets are priced at Rs.3900/= for adults and Rs.2, 000/= for children (between the age of 3 to 12 years).
Jetliner ship starts its sunset cruise at 5.00 pm and returns to the harbour after 1 � hours of cruising. Music and other entertainment will continue while sailing and the dinner by Siam House will be served after it enters the harbour around 7.30pm.

Captain Danapala of Sri Lanka Navy is the Project Manager for Jetliner Nautical Enterprise, the authority of the Jetliner cruise ship.
The ‘Jetliner’ is a water jet driven fast passenger ferry, which has been designed to accommodate 600 passengers and 160 cars at a time.
Amenities available on board will include a banquet area for 250 guests, mini conference facilities for 50 participants and ballroom facilities for 100 guests with exclusive bar facilities. There is an observation salon that can accommodate 50 guests and a deck area which has the capacity for 250 guests.

It is being used for corporate and private functions, weddings and other social events organized by private parties. It was a closed door to the ordinary folk and our new ‘sunset cruise’ can be enjoyed by anybody, who like to have a fun filled entertainment during a weekend. It will be like visiting a hotel or resort for dinner, but with a new experience; Captain explained.
‘Simply anybody can buy a ticket and join the fun. This is a rare opportunity as Jetliner is the only ship where the public are given the opportunity to witness the sunset, amidst song and dance.’ he added.

Apart from this evening package, the Jetliner Ship can be booked for various functions. Jetliner Night Package, Corporate ‘Sunset Cruise’ Package, Jetliner Touching Negombo Package, Jetliner Cruise to Bentota Package and Day out to Galle Package are some of the popular packages for private functions. The price per package ranges from Rs 300,000/=� to Rs 2,522,490/=.
The Jetliner was one of Sri Lanka Navy’s largest passenger craft served the North and East as a life line during the war till May 2009.
‘The ‘Jetliner’ could be hired on a hourly or daily basis and for weekend cruises by individuals, tour operators and corporate clients. Tailor-made packages could be arranged to suit the needs of clients’ Captain Danapala emphasized

For more details contact 0718622622, 0777304182 or�visit the website

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