Hayleys Plc and its leisure brand Amaya have ventured into the Maldives with a $ 23 million investment (around Rs. 3.4 billion) to buy a luxury resort with 51 villas.
The company said it had ventured into owning and operating an overseas resort in the Maldives which would complement its city hotel and resort portfolio in Sri Lanka.
The investment was made by a Hayleys subsidiary, Luxury Resort Ltd., a company incorporated in the Maldives. It acquired Kuda Rah Island Resort Maldives for $ 23 million on Friday.
Kuda Rah Island Resort, which is located in the picturesque South Ari Atoll, consists of 51 luxury villas and is adjacent to the popular Kuda Rah Thila dive site. It also has the Maldives’ first underground nightclub.
The resort will be branded Amaya Kudarah Maldives and will be under the management of Amaya Leisure Plc.
At present Hayleys owns and operate seven resorts in Sri Lanka through the Amaya brand comprising 659 four and five star class and boutique rooms and one city hotel - The Kingsbury - which has 229 five star rooms. Its leisure business, including inbound tours, accounts for 5% of the Hayleys Group’s revenue or Rs. 4.5 billion and 8% of pre-tax profit Rs. 679 million.
Hayleys is the latest Sri Lankan corporate to tap high value tourism in the Maldives. Among others who have benefitted largely on account of several resorts are Aitken Spence and John Keells Holdings.
In the Maldives, Hayleys has a growing logistics business.
The Maldives is targeting 1.5 million high-spending tourists this year, up from 1.2 million in 2015. The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, together with Ministry of Tourism, are carrying out various initiatives as 2016 has been declared Visit Maldives Year.