Two hotel projects in Weligama and Kalpitiya to commence next year
Calls on Govt. for policy consistency
Opens new office complex Le Cube
By Charumini de Silva
Connaissance De Ceylan, a pioneer in the inbound tourism industry of Sri Lanka, will invest over Rs. 2 billion to set up two new hotel properties in Weligama and Kalpitiya next year.
“We will be investing around Rs. 280 million to construct an ayurvedic property next month and the 24-room hotel will be ready for operations by 2018,” Connaissance De Ceylan Chief Executive and Director Chamin Wickramasinghe told the Daily FT.
Based on the significant demand for ayurvedic tourism in their existing properties, which have programs for 7, 14 and 21 days, the firm is confident that the decision to set up ‘Ayurvie’ Weligama will be beneficial to attract high-end travellers especially from Germany and Japan.
Wickramasinghe also said that they would be commencing construction work of Maalu Maalu, Kalpitiya by the end of next year with an investment of Rs. 1.8 billion.
“There were many issues at the beginning but we have come a long way since then. At the moment we have received around 80% of the approvals. We are determined to commence the project by the end of next year or early 2018,” he stated.
Maalu Maalu Kalpitiya comprises 84 rooms with a state-of-the-art conference facility and is projected to be completed by 2020. The key interests in this area are dolphin and whale watching attractions for visitors as well as for kite surfing.
Wickramasinghe emphasised that it was important to have policy consistency at least for 5-10 years to attract sizeable investments to the industry.
Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka Jean-Marin Schuh and Connaissance De Ceylan Chairman Chandra Wickramasinghe
“We have voiced ourselves to the authorities. Investors are reluctant to invest if the policies are going to be changed overnight. Therefore, policy coherence and consistency matters,” he noted.
Connaissance De Ceylan yesterday moved to a new office premises Le Cube at No. 130, High Level Road, Colombo 6. The new office complex was inaugurated by the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Jean-Marin Schuh. Le Cube will comprise Connaissance De Ceylan, Theme Resorts & Spas and CDC Events and Travels.
Wickramasinghe said the new office complex was built within an investment of Rs. 180 million and has over 70 employees working at present. “We had some of the subsidiaries scattered here and there and it was time consuming to come to Colombo all the time for our clients under the prevailing traffic system. So now it works as a one-stop-shop for all travel matters.”
Pix by Lasantha Kumara