Global giant Minor renews commitment to Sri Lanka tourism

Tuesday, 5 May 2015 02:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Two luxury hotels with $ 100 m investment to open in July and early next year in partnership with Hemas Holdings Global leisure giant Minor Hotel Group (MHG) last week renewed its commitment to further develop Sri Lanka’s tourism with two luxury resorts with an investment of $ 100 million set to open in July this year and January next year in partnership with Hemas Holdings Plc. The growing confidence in Sri Lanka was reiterated by Minor Chairman and CEO William E. Heinecke, who arrived here in his private jet last week. Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the success of the partnership between Minor and Hemas with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe present as the Chief Guest, Heinecke said he looked forward to the development of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. Headquartered in Thailand, the Minor Hotel Group is a hotel owner, operator and investor, with a portfolio of 133 hotels and resorts in 22 countries. Under its flagship luxury brand Anantara, two resorts - Anantara Tangalle Peace Heaven and another resort planned for Kalutara – are slated to be opened in July this year and January next year respectively. “It has been a personal aspiration of mine to see the luxury Anantara brand in Sri Lanka and I am delighted that it is coming to fruition soon,” Heinecke said. This brand has been in the Maldives for many years. “We look forward to the development of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and I am confident that the world-class Anantara properties will set the standard in luxury tourism in Sri Lanka. We believe in the people of Sri Lanka and we are committed to a long-term partnership for the successful development of the tourism sector which we see as a driver for Sri Lanka as it has been for Thailand,” the Minor Chief emphasised. Heinecke also congratulated the new Government and noted that it was a pleasure to see positive changes in the country. “Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful sought-after destinations in the world. We are honoured to be part of Sri Lanka tourism. We have been extremely confident that Sri Lanka is a key driver for Minor Group’s development plans,” he added. Following a partnership established in 2006, Minor and Hemas in 2011 launched the Avani brand with a resort in Bentota in 2011 followed by another one in Kalutara in 2012. Today the Avani brand has 13 properties worldwide. Hemas Holdings Director Abbas Esuflaly said Hemas forged a strategic partnership about 10 years ago with Minor, taking an equity stake in Hemas Holdings subsidiary Serendib Hotels Plc. He said the world-class hotels coming under the Anantara brand would be iconic, with the Tangalle resort already winning global praise as one of the most eagerly looked after new buildings. “The new Government’s focus on tourism has given us the impetus to invest further in the sector. More hotels are being contemplated and we look forward to contributing further to the sustainable development of the tourism industry,” Esufally added.