Aitken Spence Travels Welcomes its 200,000th Visitor Within a Year

1 Apr

The largest inbound tour operator in Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence Travels welcomed its 200,000th happy visitor a few days back for the FY 2018/19. The company has recorded a growth of tourist arrivals, essentially building on its past performance of 178,000 happy visitors during its previous FY of 17/18.

Aitken Spence Travels generated more than 400,000 room nights to the local hotels during the FY 18/19, making it the single largest contributor to Sri Lanka’s hotel industry. The company has trained and provided many direct and indirect employment opportunities to Sri Lankans in the tourism industry.

Just as the country’s top source markets generating visitors, Aitken Spence Travels top performing markets were in line with the country arrivals.  Of these markets, the company saw a significant increase in visitor arrivals from Australia due to the national carrier operating direct flights from this source market. It is noteworthy to state that when direct air connectivity is established, the impact is to the entire tourism industry.

The other segments such as cruise, special interest groups, sports tours, nature and luxury tours have contributed to the positive visitor numbers handled by the company. As the largest inbound tour operator in Sri Lanka Aitken Spence Travels allocates a high marketing budget to promote destination Sri Lanka, without being dependent on destination promotions. Also, the company forges ahead by taking risks when entering new markets and expanding its business to continuously cater to the varying demands of the traveller.

The company is a joint venture between Aitken Spence PLC, a leading blue-chip conglomerate and TUI, the largest integrated tourism company in the world, flourishing on the best practices of these two reputed & strong shareholders.

Aitken Spence Travels serves its customers with a high level of professionalism and dedication and together these efforts have culminated in the company also handling charter flights from the UK, Scandinavia and Poland.

The Company’s cruise unit has showcased their expertise by catering to the demanding shore excursion business in the country which is a growing segment within tourism. By handling large cruises, as well as exclusive up market cruises, Aitken Spence Travels has developed innovative ways to ensure that most of the cruise passengers explore the diversity of the country, the people and our culture while securing future business needs of the cruise shore excursion operations.

The MICE tourism business handled by the company caters to the delivery of diverse requirements. Conceptualising themed weddings specifically for the Indian market where the wedding segment is growing rapidly and also extending services for experiential tours has strengthened the companies market position.

Whilst the different source markets have been generating more numbers the company has invested in technology and other in-house systems to improve efficiencies and enabled the operational staff to have a seamless operation, driven by technology.

“Over the years Aitken Spence Travels has established strong partnerships with many leading tour operator partners. The trust they have placed in the Aitken Spence brand coupled with our ability to cater to the many diverse demands and needs of the discerning traveller has given us an edge over competition. It is a great achievement for us to continue to keep raising the bar year after year and we will continue to cater to the different segments with innovative solutions” commented Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

“This incredible journey would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of many stakeholders. We extend our gratitude and thanks to our Chairman & Board of Directors along with the Leisure Sector Head Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, to our valuable tour operators, the hoteliers, airline operators and all other stakeholders for their trust, belief and support.

“An operation of this magnitude could not have been possible without the efficiency and dedication of our staff at Aitken Spence Travels and the senior management team. I am indeed grateful to my wonderful team for this achievement” stated Mr. Jayasundera.

“Furthermore, we continue to keep adding to the many laurels the company has been collecting over the years and the recent one being Aitken Spence Travels being selected as the best inbound tour company at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Tourism Awards conducted by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. In addition to handling 200,000 passengers we are also the only DMC to record a 1 billion profit in Sri Lanka”, he added.

Commenting on the future initiatives of the company Mr. Jayasundera added, “As a leader in the DMC business we will focus a significant proportion of our time and efforts to bring about a wave in sustainable tourism programs and ensure that as an industry leader that we will lead the way by various means such as educating our stakeholders and promoting sustainable tours. Our partners and stakeholders can expect to see the result of these commitments in the coming months”.

 

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Facilitating Cruise Tourism in Sri Lanka

31 Mar

Globally the cruise industry is projected to continue to grow throughout 2019 with an estimated 30 million travellers expected to cruise, up 6% from 28.2 million in 2018. The interest in Sri Lanka as a cruise destination is growing with its scenic beauty, diversity of its product offering, access to seaports located in Colombo, Galle, Hambantota and Trincomalee and the positive endorsement by Lonely Planet.

The Minister of Tourism Hon John Amarathunga along with the Chairman of the Tourism Advisory Committee is keen on developing this important tourism segment in order to entice and attract more cruise ships to Sri Lanka. Much work needs to be done and they wish to facilitate and encourage the government for a cruise terminal and find ways to ease cruise procedures, spruce up the passenger terminal facilities etc. Though Sri Lanka has four ports, it is important to find ways of developing these ports to be competing with other reputed cruise destinations in the region. In order to exchange ideas and find ways the Hon Minister of Tourism along with a high-ranking delegation met Mr. Norman Rasel Son, Cruise Director of the luxury Cruise Ship Silver Whisper.

The luxury cruise ship Silver Whisper, part of the Silver Sea Cruise liner company called over to the Colombo Port on Monday 25th March. Carrying 300 high-end luxury passengers who are on an around the world voyage, the ship first called over at the Trincomalee harbour on Friday 22nd March prior to calling over at the Colombo port on Monday. The Silver Whisper boasts of amenities of a grand resort. The charms of a stylish boutique hotel with world-class accommodations, shipboard conviviality and warm, individualised service, paired with the enhanced spaces and amenities of a larger ship.

Majority of the cruise passengers indulge in shore excursions to take a break from the sea journey and explore the country. Shore excursions such as the Geoffrey Bawa tour, the Vice Roy tour on the diesel engine locomotive, visiting the historical Kelaniya temple, spending the day with the Pinnawela elephants and Exploring the city of Colombo were undertaken by these clients before they departed.

In a background as this, Sri Lanka attracts around 60 cruise calls a year out of which majority of the shore excursions are handled by Aitken Spence Travels the leading DMC in Sri Lanka.

Those present & met with the Cruise Director Norman Rasel Sonof Silver Whisper;

  • Tourism Minister Hon. John Amaratunga
  • Head of the Tourism Committee Deshamanya DHS Jayawardena
  • Head of Leisure Sector at Aitken Spence Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena
  • Senior Advisor to the Minister Mr. Felix Rodrigo
  • Managing Director of Micato India Mr. Micheal Haidar Ali,
  • The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration & Commissioner for Registration of
    Persons of Indian Origin Mr. Nihal Ranasinghe

Aitken Spence Hotels among winners of Travelers’ Choice Awards 2019

18 Mar

The largest travel planning and booking site, TripAdvisor recognised Aitken Spence Hotels as winners of its Travelers’ Choice Awards 2019.

Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Negombo, Heritance Tea Factory and Amethyst Resort were among the hotels that secured the accolade, granted based on consistent positive reviews collected over the past year. Heritance properties including Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Negombo were also merited among the highest in the ‘Top 25 Hotels – Sri Lanka’ based on their exemplary service, quality and value.

The Heritance properties, a name that has over the years been synonymous with superior hospitality in Sri Lanka caters to discerning travellers who are explorers of culture and authenticity. Heritance Kandalama, the leading eco-resort is among the most awarded properties in the country with emphasis on architecture and eco-ethos. Heritance Ahungalla, the first five-star resort in the southern coastal belt is a haven of peace and solitude by the beach. A converted 19th century tea factory that today sings songs of the past through its unique design, Heritance Tea Factory has been a constant favourite among local and international travellers.

As a local hospitality chain that has and continue to aspire, to take the inherent warmth of Sri Lankan hospitality to the world, Aitken Spence Hotels pay heavy emphasis on refining service efforts whilst maintaining and improving the product. As such, the award is looked at as a further endorsement to the chain’s continuous efforts to develop its core products.

Held for the 17th year, the award honours hotels across categories including luxury, bargain, small, best service, B&B and inn, romance, family, and all-inclusive, as well as top hotels overall.

“Travelers can consider these award winners when picking the perfect hotel for their needs – for any budget or trip type – to help inspire their travels in 2019,” says Desiree Fish, Vice President of global communications for TripAdvisor in a statement with a congratulatory message to the hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels, the premier hospitality chain owns and operates 11 hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, in key tourist destinations and has been renowned for its unique products and impeccable service from the heart.

Elpitiya Wins Inter-Plantations Cricket Tournament

5 Mar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elpitiya Plantations PLC won the inter-plantations cricket championship 2019 organised by the Dimbula Athletic & Cricket Club recently. The annual event is held since 2002 among the regional plantation companies, attended by the planters community.

Asela Udumulla, captain of the Elpitiya cricket team was named the Man of the Series and Man of the Match at the final.  It is the first time that the Elpitiya team has been able to come on top at the championship.

Elpitiya won all three matches against Maskelliya, Pussellawa, JDB and qualified for the finals against Thalawakelle Plantations. At the finals, Elpitiya scored 83 runs during their 05 overs while Thalawakelle scored 55 runs.

“The team worked hard and put on a combined effort at each match. We are thrilled to be able to win the championship for the very first time”, said the winning captain, Asela Udumulla.

The winning team from Elpitiya Plantations consisted of Asela Udumulla (C), Shihara Perera (VC), Anushka Baddevithane, Harith Muttettuwatte, Dilukshan Neshan, Pramod Bandara, Kanishka Ranchagoda, Gayan Ariyadasa, Mahesh Samarasinghe and Sajith Wijesena.

Managed by Aitken Spence since 1997, Elpitiya Plantations PLC is one of Sri Lanka’s leading producers of the most exquisite high-quality premium teas. Elpitiya Plantations has 13 estates located in up, mid and low country regions. Their core business is focused on cultivation and manufacturing of tea, rubber, oil palm, coconut and cinnamon. The Company has diversified operations into sustainable forestry development, eco-tourism, hydro power development, and specialty-tea manufacturing.

Aitken Spence Records Significant Growth

9 Feb

Aitken Spence PLC recorded impressive growth in financial results for the nine months ending on 31st December 2018 with a 21.3 per cent year-on-year growth in profits-before-tax from Rs. 3.28 bn to Rs. 3.97 bn. The leading conglomerate recorded an increase in revenue of 1.5 per cent over the previous year, from Rs. 36.2 bn to Rs. 36.7 bn for the nine-month time period.

The diversified group’s profits-before-tax increased by 52.9 per cent from Rs.1.47 bn to Rs. 2.26 bn in the third quarter, over the previous year. Revenue increased by 12.1 per cent from Rs. 12.2 to Rs. 13.7 bn.

Earnings per share for the nine months increased by 25.4 per cent from Rs. 4.31 to Rs. 5.41, while it increased by 56 per cent from Rs. 2 to Rs. 3.12 for the third quarter, year-on-year.

“We are pleased to announce that Aitken Spence has recorded considerable growth in profit-before-tax and revenue for the nine months and quarter. All our four sectors – tourism, maritime & logistics, strategic investments and services – showed significant growth in profit-before-tax and revenue during the third quarter”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

The tourism sector growth was driven by a strong performance by the destination management segment consisting of Aitken Spence Travels which has increased the number of tourists handled steadily over last few years. Whilst Aitken Spence resorts in the Maldives continued to perform well in spite of increased international competition, the Sri Lankan hotels segment improved its financial results over the previous year, during period under review.

The company’s latest addition to its hospitality portfolio, Heritance Aarah that presents a premium all-inclusive offering is expected to open next month as the first Heritance property in the Maldives.

The maritime & logistics sector posted growth in both top and bottom lines with improved results from maritime services, cargo and logistics segments. Aitken Spence is one of the largest integrated logistics service providers in Sri Lanka.

The strategic investments sector that includes power generation, plantations, printing and garments segments also showed considerable growth over the previous year for the period under review. The 10MW waste-to-energy project under construction is expected to help solve both the waste disposal and energy supply challenges in the country at present. The project would be equipped to convert municipal solid waste to electricity, aimed at greatly relieving the Colombo City of its waste disposal burden. The waste-to-energy plant will add to the current portfolio of hydro, thermal and wind power plants developed and run by Aitken Spence.

In a landmark move, Aitken Spence recently commenced a joint venture with Fijian Holdings – one of Fiji’s leading conglomerates – to invest in and manage the government printery in Fiji. Aitken Spence will be providing the expertise in management and leadership to upgrade the government printery with new technology to make it one of the best in the region.

Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983 and marking its 150th year milestone in 2018, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistic Solutions, Plantations, Power Generation, Printing, Insurance and Apparel sectors. Aitken Spence is the reigning winner of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability award while being the only company in Sri Lanka to be ranked as a “Best Corporate Citizen” by Sri Lanka’s leading chamber for 13 consecutive years.

Heritance Ahungalla accoladed as TUI Environmental Champion 2019 Also wins TUI Top Quality award 2019

7 Jan

Aitken Spence Hotels’ premier five-star property in the coastal belt, Heritance Ahungalla received the double honour of being listed as the TUI Environmental Champions of 2019 for its excellent performance in sustainable hotel management as well as a winner of the TUI Top Quality 2019.

The hotel was selected among many worthy contenders from around the globe to receive the TUI Environmental Champion of 2019 award. In order to qualify for the environmental champion awards, hotels and resorts must rate more than eight out of 10 by TUI Germany guests and must hold a Global Sustainable Tourism Council recognised certificate, such as Travelife. The recognition further reiterates the hotel’s excellent performance in sustainable hotel management as evaluated by TUI guests and auditors.

The hotel was also listed as a winner of the TUI Top Quality 2019 which is reserved for the very best TUI hotels – the absolute favourites as declared by their guests. With an excellence rating on the TUI guest survey exceeding 8.7 out of 10 possible points, the hotel successfully convinced guests across the board.

TUI Germany is the world’s leading tourism group which covers the entire tourism value chain under one roof.

Heritance Ahungalla, designed by legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa is a 152-room property located on 12 acres of beachfront in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. With award winning chefs at the helm, the hotel is well known for its delectable cuisine available at Jute restaurant, Mustard coffee shop and upper room restaurant, whilst also offering a plethora of bespoke dining options to suit the guests’ needs. Catering to a cross section of travellers, the hotel also offers a range of facilities, from a fully equipped gymnasium, two pools – an infinity pool and residents’ pool, a library, business centre and ample sporting activities. Heritance Ahungalla also stringently follows internationally accepted practices of sustainability and is certified with ISO 14001:2004, ISO 22000:2005/HACCP and ISO 50001:2011.

For more information, log on to www.heritancehotels.com/ahungalla

Marella Discovery makes her maiden call to Colombo

27 Dec



Super luxury passenger vessel M.V. Marella Discovery of Marella Cruises with 1,732 passengers and 764 crew on board made her maiden call at the Port of Colombo in December 2018.

In order to mark the maiden call of the vessel at the Port of Colombo plaque exchanges were held between the Master of the vessel, SLPA, local agents – Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd and travel operator – Aitken Spence Travels Ltd.

On behalf of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Capt. Athula Hewavitharana – Managing Director exchanged plaques with the Master of Marella Discovery – Capt. Christopher N. Dodds. Mr. Iqram Cuttilan – Managing Director of Aitken Spence Shipping and Mr. Nalin Jayasundera – Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels exchanged plaques with the Master on behalf of the Aitken Spence Group subsidiaries.

Expressing views at the occasion, the Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) – Capt. Athula Hewavitharana said that the Port of Colombo was honoured by the presence of Marella Discovery in Colombo.

Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) is a British cruise line offering cruise holidays around Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. Marella Discovery is approximately 264 meters in length and 32 meters wide having 902 state rooms with a capacity to accommodate up to 2,074 passengers. The excursions organised by Aitken Spence Travels had over 1,000 passengers joining in to enjoy the city and immediate locations of Sri Lanka such as the Colombo heritage walk, exploring the city of Galle and Sri Lankan river safari.

Marella Discovery commenced its voyage from Europe calling at Italy, Crete and moving onto Egypt, Jordan, Oman, U.A.E. and several ports in India on her way to Sri Lanka and will thereafter cruise towards Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The vessel that cruised under the flag of Malta called Colombo from Cochin, India and Sabang, Indonesia is her next port of call.

Established in 1868, Aitken Spence PLC marks its 150th anniversary. The Company has grown to great heights, especially with the diversification of the company in 2004 into non-traditional areas. The Company’s involvement in port efficiency enhancement projects in new markets has helped to successfully pursue a long-term directional shift from being service-related to becoming an investment-driven operation.

Aitken Spence Hotels collects 12 awards in a week

20 Dec


Sri Lanka’s leading hospitality chain, Aitken Spence Hotels was recognised at multiple award ceremonies held last week in Colombo, bringing home a total of 12 awards at the 54th Annual Report Awards 2018, National Business Excellence Awards and Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018.

The hotel chain, part of the blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, started its winning streak on 4 December at the 54th Annual Report Awards 2018 organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka. The company took home the Silver for ‘Hotel Companies’ whilst Browns Beach Hotels PLC, also part of the Group’s subsidiaries was accoladed with the ‘Hotel Companies Compliance Award’. Held under the theme of ‘epitome of brilliance’ the award ceremony celebrates commitment of corporates towards best practices in annual corporate reporting through transparency, accountability and good governance.

At the National Business Excellence Awards held on 5 December, organised by the National Chamber of Commerce. Aitken Spence Hotels received eight awards in total including the ‘Silver Award in the Overall category’ along with three golds and four silvers. From the Sector Awards, the Company was awarded with the Gold for ‘Hospitality and Tourism’ in recognition of the distinct trailblazing innovations in products and services in the industry, and the First Runners Up in the ‘Extra Large Category’ companies.

Among the category wins were Golds in ‘Excellence in Environmental Sustainability’ and ‘Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility’ and Silver in ‘Excellence in Capacity Building’, ‘Excellence in Performance Management’ and ‘Excellence in Global Market Reach’. The Excellence Awards was organised to recognise business enterprises, which have demonstrated excellence in business, whilst contributing to the economic progress of the country.

The following day, on 6 December, the Company was rewarded yet again at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018 held after a lapse of six years. Heritance Kandalama, a Hall of Fame winner at the Presidential Awards (which was rebranded as Sri Lanka Tourism Awards this year) after three consecutive wins, was applauded as the Winner of the ‘Best Hotel-Sustainable and Green Practices’. Company’s most awarded individual with three Culinary Olympic wins under his belt (and the only chef in the world to have received the honour) Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe was recognised for ‘The Most Outstanding Culinary Contribution’.

Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management Stasshani Jayawardena speaking on the recent wins, stated that the manifold recognition was a testament to the superior product and service offerings of the chain. “As a hospitality chain that is constantly looking at challenging the status quo and innovating our way forward, these awards further reinforce our role as a leader in the industry. Our Sri Lankan hotels have certainly carved a name for themselves both here and abroad, and we are truly privileged to be recognised in so many fields”.

“It is hard work and perseverance that has helped us succeed thus far, along with the sheer passion of the team and their dedication to serve. In working together, I believe, we will be able to add more to our successes whilst simultaneously, promoting our island home as a vibrant destination, catering to diverse needs and wants of the global traveller,” she added.

Earlier this year, Aitken Spence Hotels was recognised at the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) held in India with Sri Lankan and South Asia awards for Leading Eco Hotel/Resort; and Heritance Negombo and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara securing destination-specific awards as Leading Beach Hotel/Resort and Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort respectively. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara also won the Silver at the National Green Awards 2018.

Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio consists of 21 star-class properties, with 11 owned and managed properties in Sri Lanka, four in Maldives, four in Oman and one in India. The hotel chain will introduce the ‘Heritance’ brand of hotels to Maldives early next year with the opening of premium all-inclusive all-villa property, Heritance Aarah.

Fiji Ports Terminal wins Fiji Business Excellence Award for 2018

20 Dec


Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd. is the proud winner of Fiji Business Excellence Awards this year which was given away at a gala ceremony held at Sheraton Fiji resort in Denarau Fiji, last month by the President of the Republic of Fiji Islands Maj. Gen. (Retd) Jioji Konusi Konrote in the presence of a host of high ranking government officials and business leaders.

Aitken Spence PLC has a 51% shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd. which was acquired under a public private partnership venture with Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd. of Fiji Islands. Aitken Spence PLC entered into the first ever public private partnership abroad by a Sri Lankan company when it acquired a controlling shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminals Ltd (FPTL) in 2013 and signed a 15-year concession agreement to manage Suva and Lautoka international ports in Fiji. Aitken Spence Ports International Ltd. provides the management expertise to FPTL.

Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd. CEO Hasthika Bandara Dela received the award on behalf of FPTL. He stated that this was a team effort amongst all members of the staff which was the key to FPTL being very progressive and achieving this award. He thanked the members of the staff of FPTL as well as the Board of Directors for their valuable contribution. He also stated that FPTL had been working hard over the last five years to put together processes and systems to ensure that higher efficiency and productivity levels were achieved while drastically improving the turnaround times of the vessels. This has resulted in more vessel calls, with higher export and import volumes assisting the economy of Fiji.

The President’s Business Excellence Award, is the highest award which is only awarded to organisations that have attained excellent organisational performance levels and are demonstrably world class organisations.

Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd is a pioneer in the industry as it provides import and export container handling services to some of the leading container carriers in the world, handling transhipment cargo, and the servicing of passenger cruise vessels, car carriers and casual callers. The port management segment operates and manages two main ports in Fiji whilst the port management segment manages cargo operations and equipment in the port of Nacala in Mozambique.

Established in 1868, Aitken Spence PLC marks its 150th anniversary. The Company has grown to great heights, especially with the diversification of the company in 2004 into non-traditional areas. The Company’s involvement in port efficiency enhancement projects in new markets has helped to successfully pursue a long-term directional shift from being service-related to becoming an investment-driven operation.

Aitken Spence Travels Wins Best Inbound Tour Operator at the Tourism Awards 2018

14 Dec

Aitken Spence Travels, won the Best Inbound Tour Operator under the category of Travel & Tourism Operator – Large, at the National Tourism Awards 2018 conducted by The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

Aitken Spence Travels were the recipient of the same category in 2012 at the Presidential awards, as it was known then. The company had won this prestigious award for three consecutive years previously and it was the only destination management company to enter the Hall of Fame.

This year the winners were chosen by a panel of eminent industry experts & respected corporate professionals. The competition entailed a written application and presentation to the judging panel and site visits. The criteria covered audited Financial performance, Corporate Social Responsibility, commitment to the environment, Business and marketing plans, Customer care, HR and Sustainability.

This accolade won by Aitken Spence Travels further confirms its preeminent position of powering the spirit of travel to surpass its competitors, in been recognised for its achievements in Sri Lanka’s Tourism industry, contributions made in uplifting the industry standards through destination marketing, innovation, best practices and for the overall contribution to the growth of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.

“Over the years, Aitken Spence Travels has been opening new markets across continents to expand and enrich the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. In the last financial year, the company served more than 178,000 happy visitors from across the globe to grow its overall arrivals to 16%, when Sri Lanka’s national average on arrivals were at 7%. The company can boldly state that we are the single largest room inventory buyer of 500,000 room nights of different star category hotels across the island and have generated over 1500 indirect employment opportunities in the communities we work and operate”, stated Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

Achievements such as this is possible due to the hard work, commitment and professionalism of our team and the many stakeholders who partner to deliver the best experience of Sri Lanka to our discerning guests of varied backgrounds.

“I take this opportunity to place my sincere appreciation and thanks to my staff of Aitken Spence Travels who has always upheld the high standards maintained by the company with professionalism, quick response and attention to detail towards our travel agents’ inquiries and their visitor needs and wants. We are immensely grateful to our valuable Tour Operator partners who have trusted us for our expertise and built long standing partnerships, which is one of the pillars to our success. Our sincere thanks also goes to the numerous hotel partners who have worked closely with us in delivering high standard products and the numerous suppliers who have grown with us in delivering an exceptional experience of destination Sri Lanka”, added Mr. Jayasundera.

“Our sincere gratitude to our joint venture partner TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism company that has synergised their strengths to work closely with Aitken Spence Travels and bring about the much needed charters, cruises and groups. We also express our sincere gratitude to our chairman and board of directors for their trust, confidence and guidance to the Aitken Spence Travels team”, said Mr. Jayasundera.

The tourism industry has the potential to be the number one foreign exchange earner for the country if all stakeholders of the tourism industry work together to achieve this objective. However, ‘Ones destiny is in ones own hands’, hence we will pursue in moving forward to achieve the 200,000 happy visitor mark for the 2018/19 financial year and will continue to be the highest foreign exchange earning destination management company in Sri Lanka.