Sri Lanka features big in Shangri-La’s Indian Ocean push

Published : 10:39 am  April 26, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (123) reads | 

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From left: Milan Drager, General Manager, Al Husn Hotel at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Juergen Doerr, General Manager, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Rob Weeden, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, EMEA, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Timothy Wright, Vice President, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo (Courtesy Travel Trade Weekly)

  • Says poised to set net standard for luxury hospitality with Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo 
  • Remains supremely positive about Sri Lanka’s tourism industry outlook
  • Shows keenness to take advantage of close Sri Lanka- Maldives links

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the Hong Kong-based luxury hotel operator, revealed extensive details about its exciting pipeline of new luxury properties across the Indian Ocean and Asia at a press conference held yesterday at the Arabian Travel Market 2017, which is currently underway.

Shangri-La will set a new standard for luxury hospitality in Sri Lanka with the opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. The hotel will be the most luxurious to open in Colombo in 35 years and will complement the group’s 300-room Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa, which opened in June 2016.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is expanding into Sri Lanka at a time when the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts the country’s travel and tourism GDP will grow 6.3 percent per year over the coming decade and, by 2026, the industry is expected to be worth US$ 85 billion to the country’s economy.

“We are witnessing the increasing popularity of Sri Lanka, both as a leisure and business destination. In the first quarter of 2017 there were over 500,000 visitors to the country.
The target markets are very much aligned with our own, with India boasting the highest number of visitors (84,568) followed by China (79,222) and the United Kingdom (59,137),” said Shangri-La Executive Vice President Michael Cottan, who oversees the group’s portfolio in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas (EMEA).
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo benefits from a prime location between the Galle Face Green promenade and Beira Lake and boasts uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. 
The site occupies 10 acres of land and is part of a mixed-use development including an office tower, two residential towers and a high-end shopping mall. The hotel will feature 466 guest rooms, 41 serviced apartments and 34 spacious suites, including a Presidential Suite and three specialty suites.
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will be a contemporary dining hotspot, unlocking a new social and dining scene in the city with five innovative restaurants and bars including the best and only authentic Chinese restaurant in Sri Lanka, plus a Western grill, an interactive all-day dining restaurant, a casual bar and terrace, and a lobby lounge.
In meeting the needs of Colombo’s thriving business community, the hotel will also feature the largest and most extensive hotel conference and event facilities in the region, catering for up to 2,000 guests. 
Chi, The Spa will lead the hotel’s lifestyle experience with 10 private rooms for individuals and couples and a selection of traditional Sri Lankan and East Asian treatments and therapies. The spa will be complemented by a state-of-the-art health club open 24 hours.
“Our world-class facilities in the hotel will appeal to leisure travellers and business people alike. They are ideal for conferences and meetings and will enable the destination to compete with other MICE hotspots like Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket and Bali. Our combination of service quality, conference capabilities and in-room technology means this is a truly unique product for Sri Lanka,” said Cottan.
Gulf carriers ensure great connectivity between Colombo and visitors from the region. In addition, SriLankan Airlines recently announced a direct route from Colombo to Gan, the closest airport to Shangri-La’s private resort in the Maldives.
“We are very keen to take advantage of the close links between Sri Lanka and the Maldives, leveraging the popularity of two-destination holidays between the countries and deals offered by international and independent travel agents, as well as direct flights from Colombo by SriLankan Airlines.
As a result, guests at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will be able to combine their stay in vibrant Sri Lanka with a tranquil retreat at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives,” said Rob Weeden, Shangri-La’s Vice President of Sales for EMEA.
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa is located in Addu Atoll, the largest resort island in the Maldives, is just a five-minute boat ride away from Gan International Airport. The resort is a collection of 132 private villas nestled across emerald green jungle and stunning turquoise shoreline.

Meanwhile, Shangri-La will also introduce its urban lifestyle Kerry Hotels brand to Hong Kong with the opening of Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong on April 28. Also in May, Shangri-La will relaunch Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s 503-room Tower Wing. In Beijing, the 450-room Hotel Jen Beijing is scheduled to open in June in Beijing’s Central Business District (CBD) in Chaoyang. 
The group will open three additional properties in China with Shangri-La Hotel, Yiwu scheduled to open in mid-May and Shangri-La Hotel, Xiamen and Shangri-La Hotel, Jinan set to launch in Q3 2017.