Heritance Hotels Achieves Travelife Gold Award

18 Mar

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Heritance Hotels, Sri Lanka’s leading chain of resorts, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels is once again in the forefront of sustainability with all hotels in its portfolio being awarded the Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations Gold award. Travelife – the international sustainability certification scheme – assesses a property’s performance in managing social, environmental and economic impacts. The Gold award achieved by Heritance Tea Factory, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Ahungalla is a testament to the chain’s deep commitment to sustainability.

Travelife is a practical tool which assists properties to monitor and manage their social and environmental impacts. The scheme which is supported by some of the largest tour operators in the industry helps hotels cut costs and increase sales, by improved sustainability. To gain Travelife Gold certification the hotel must meet the 150 sustainability criteria set by the scheme. This includes environmental issues, such as minimising waste and use of energy, water and chemicals, as well as taking positive action on social issues, such as employee welfare, working with the local community, child protection and human rights. Hotels must display how they are helping to support local businesses and protect local traditions and wildlife.

The Heritance Hotels portfolio underwent a stringent audit process which focussed on energy saving practices, waste management, emission and environmental sustainability principles followed by each Hotel. The audit results are scored on Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on the degree of the Hotels commitment towards the environment and locality in which it operates. Achieving Gold status is not an easy feat and it is a remarkable achievement that the entire chain achieved this accolade.

Heritance Hotels, a pioneer in practicing and promoting sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka, has taken numerous initiatives in ensuring that energy consuming assets have been managed effectively and energy conserving technology has been implemented at each resort. Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka’s leading beach resorts, was the first hotel in Sri Lanka to receive the ISO 50001:2011 certification. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, was the first net metered hotel in Sri Lanka and Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Kandalama were the first in the hospitality industry to utilize a biomass gasifier as a renewable energy source. Apart from the significant systems implemented at the resorts, all resorts use Sewage Treated Plant (STP) water for irrigation and have replaced incandescent lighting with CFL and LED lights.

The 7R recycling program practiced by all resorts in the chain strives for zero waste to the environment. All waste produced is recycled or disposed of with no impact to the environment in which each hotel operates. Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory have in-house green pavilions and eco centers where training is provided to guests and the community on the benefits and importance of recycling and reducing the impacts on the environment.

Heritance Kandalama has been identified as a bio diversity hot spot with surveys revealing that the 170 acres of owned and 50 acres of leased land preserved by the Hotel has 43 species of mammals, 173 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 82 species of butterflies and 125 floral species including trees and climbers.

Heritance Hotels is closely linked to each community it operates in with over 40% of its staff being employed from the local communities. In addition facilities such as the Arts and Crafts center at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara are provided for local craftsmen to showcase their talents and keep traditional crafts alive. This also adds to the local economy by ways of added profits to the community and promotion of local culture.

“We are extremely passionate about practicing social and environmental strategies and it is indeed motivating to be recognised for our achievements in this area. Our team constantly strives to ensure that we keep challenging ourselves and having gone through the stringent audit process it is encouraging to note that we have been benchmarked against other international star performers and have been awarded the highest accolade in the scheme”, said Mr.Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Heritance Hotels and Resorts, the premier brand of Aitken Spence Hotels operate a portfolio of four unique properties in scenic locations across Sri Lanka. Heritance Kandalama was named by The Observer of UK as one of the “Icons of Modern Hotel Design” and Travel + Leisure calls it one of the leading green hotels of the world.  Heritance Tea Factory was voted amongst the “100 Best Places to Stay in the World” by Sunday Times UK and was nominated in the list of “Top 5 Factory Hotels in the World” by The Independent, UK. The chain of hotels has been continuously recognized as a pioneer in sustainable tourism and continuously strives to sustain and innovate processes that reduce the impact of its operation on its surroundings.

Aitken Spence Sweeps 3 Leading awards at HRM Awards 2014

16 Mar
Aitken Spence PLC wins Gold Award and Heritance Kandalama wins Silver Award & Category Award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply

Aitken Spence PLC wins Gold Award and Heritance Kandalama wins Silver Award & Category Award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply

Aitken Spence PLC emerged as a Gold award winner and was listed in the ‘Super Ten’ companies at the HRM Awards 2014 organized by the Association of Human Resource Professionals (HRP) for the sixth time in Colombo recently. It is the only conglomerate to be amongst the winners repeatedly since the inception of HRM Awards in 2002.

HRM Awards, widely considered throughout the industry as the pre-eminent awards in recognising organizations and practitioners with outstanding evidence-based HR management practices has reaffirmed with this testament of recognition, the commitment Aitken Spence places for meeting processes and practices that are on par with globally recognized standards. Heritance Kandalama, considered as Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel, similarly secured a Silver Award and received the category award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply’. Aitken Spence was the only organization to win 3 awards at this year’s awards ceremony.

The Awards’ eminent panel of judges, comprising of prominent local and international HR professionals and industrialists, paid special attention to processes that enhance productivity, promote employee growth and give organisations a competitive, long term advantage in their respective fields of business. The scientifically designed evaluation tool evaluated the best practices of participants against established norms and benchmarks facilitated by Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM, India.

Aitken Spence continues to promote innovative thinking and strategies in HR practices within the organization in alignment with world-class standards. Understanding that employees are the core to the company’s success, the Group continues to incorporate diverse career and leadership opportunities both locally and internationally, enhance employee skills and abilities for both professional & personal growth.

Aitken Spence HR Partners

Aitken Spence HR Partners

“We are honored to be recognized at the HRM awards as one of the best employers in Sri Lanka with world class HR practices. We understand that a team of highly engaged and enabled employees are the key to the company’s success. I am confident we will continue to observe the highest standards of HR practices for the sustained growth of our company” noted J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC.

“The continual recognition of our HR policies and efforts at the HRM awards is an inspiring indicator that we are moving in the right direction of making Aitken Spence an Employer of Choice. This award will encourage us to continue to create challenging and exciting experiences for our employees, ultimately creating an open and unique work culture that elevates employees to their full potential”, stated Mr. Rohan Pandithakorralage, Chief Human Resource Officer, Aitken Spence Group Ltd.

Further Mr. Pandithakorralage stated “Aitken Spence has a rich history of nearly one and a half centuries. In its journey it has pioneered in to many new industries and continue to be a market leader even today. The success we have had, we see today and we envisage in the future are all attributable to our employees. We at Aitken Spence always go the ‘extra mile and a half’ and we provide an ‘exceptional’ service to all our customers; internal, external, stake holders. It is our DNA and it is our drive. It is how we evolve. We dedicate these successes to our employees of past, present and future.”

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

27 youth complete Aitken Spence School of Hospitality training supported by Care International

27 Feb

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Twenty seven youth from Sri Lanka’s Southern province successfully completed their first section of hotel industry training by the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality. Commemorating the event, an award ceremony was held on the 13th of February 2015 for the handing of certificates. The training for the students were financially supported by CARE International while all resource personnel and logistical support for this endeavor was provided by Heritance Ahungalla.

As part of a joint initiative between CARE International and Aitken Spence School of Hospitality; the three-month training programme was aimed at enhancing employment opportunities for underprivileged youth. The course module designed as per ILO Certified Standards and incorporated by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management is registered with the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission. The training will be followed with industry placement at the Aitken Spence Group of Hotels, thereby giving students the opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience.

Student K.L. Dimuthu Madushan received the award for the ‘Most Outstanding Student’ of the batch. Dimuthu also bagged the award for the ‘Best Student – Food and Beverage Services (Theory)’ while D.S.S.K Silva obtained the award for the ‘Best Student – Food and Beverage Services (practical)’ category. S. A. Nilushika Udayangini received the award for ‘English Language’.

To mark the occasion for the handing of certificates, Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone Assistant Vice President, Human Resources /Training & Development of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements, Mr. Refhan Razeen Executive General Manager- Heritance Ahungalla, Mr. Gregory Brady Country Director, CARE Sri Lanka, Ms. Lahari de Alwis CARE SL Private Sector Manager, Ms. Shivani Fernandez CARE SL Senior Programme Coordinator, Sujeewa Jayamanne Country Representative Diageo -Faculty and Resource Personnel were present together with the staff from both Aitken Spence Hotel Managements and Heritance Ahungalla alongside with the students’ parents.

Elaborating on the benefits of the training; Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone, stated, “An opportunity has been provided for a new generation of people. The hospitality industry is important for the future of Sri Lanka and is one of the largest contributing employers to the economy. This sector provides opportunities globally and these students have now received the foundation for it. If one works with honesty, commitment, discipline together with a genuine desire to improve one’s self, then anything is achievable”.

Since its inception in 2007, a total of four hundred youth have benefited from the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality programme; with this being the 10th batch of students to successfully complete it. The initiative also placed special priority on encouraging female youth, in hope to boost and promote further female employ ability in the tourism sector.

Aitken Spence Information Technology Division Secures ISO 27001: 2005 Certification

14 Feb
(L-R) Mr. Keethi Jayaweera - Managing Director of Aitken Spence Aviation, Mr. Rohitha Rajaratna - Vice President - Engineering of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements, Mr. Vipula Gunatilleka - Chief Corporate Officer of Aitken Spence Group Ltd, Mr. Mihiran Fonseka - General Manager of Group IT Division and Mr. Rohith De Costa - Vice President - Internal Audit & Risk of Aitken Spence Corporate Finance (Pvt) Ltd together with the Steering Committee.

(L-R) Mr. Keethi Jayaweera – Managing Director of Aitken Spence Aviation, Mr. Rohitha Rajaratna – Vice President – Engineering of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements, Mr. Vipula Gunatilleka – Chief Corporate Officer of Aitken Spence Group Ltd, Mr. Mihiran Fonseka – General Manager of Group IT Division and Mr. Rohith De Costa – Vice President – Internal Audit & Risk of Aitken Spence Corporate Finance (Pvt) Ltd together with the Steering Committee.

Aitken Spence Information Technology division successfully attained the International Organization for Standardization certification (ISO 27001: 2005), earning the prestigious accreditation after nearly a year of independent, external assessments. The ISO 27001:2005 certification offers organizations with an internationally recognized, independently verified standard that showcases that a company is able to securely succeed information security, retaining confidentiality, integrity and availability of all data.

By being compliant with the ISO 27001: 2005 standard Aitken Spence Information Technology division has proven that it has its appropriate processes secured on the handling of its data and the data of its customers –ensuring that their critical information is both safe and readily accessible.

“As a diversified conglomerate we are well aware of the importance of Information Security and Audit role in an organization. It is important that we use technology to facilitate the growth and expansion of our businesses. It is vital for us to have the right practices embedded into our culture in protecting our stakeholder information assets.

I am confident this accreditation would be the first few steps of a long journey. I have high expectations and trust in the governance of information protection at Aitken Spence.” Noted, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence, Mr. J.M.S. Brito congratulating the team’s achievement.

Mr. Vipula Gunatilleka, Chief Corporate Officer commenting on the achievement said “I take this opportunity to congratulate, Aitken Spence IT and other support teams for all their efforts towards securing the ISO 27001 – which is considered as the highest accreditation for information protection and security globally. This certification is a true reflection of our commitment towards protecting the rights of our stakeholders and it endorses our commitment towards adopting and complying with the highest standards in information security to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data and information within Aitken Spence. Data and information is considered as the most valuable assets in a modern business and having the ISO certification would provide Aitken Spence with a tremendous advantage over and above our competitors.”

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Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

Aitken Spence 9-Month Results Steady

11 Feb

Aitkenspence head office

Leading conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC recorded a challenging third quarter but showed a steady performance for the nine months, revealed its interim results to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) released on Wednesday.

The blue-chip’s financial results for the nine months ended 31st December 2014 saw profit-before-tax increasing by 4.4 per cent to Rs. 3.8 bn while profit attributable to shareholders decreased by 4.8 per cent to Rs 2.2bn,

The diversified group’s third quarter results showed profit-before-tax decreasing by 5.9 per cent to Rs. 1.6bn and profit attributable to shareholders falling by 19.5 per cent to Rs. 870mn, “Although we had a challenging third quarter, we were able to record a steady performance for the year so far”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

“With the new administration in Sri Lanka, we see a significant boost to business confidence. We are confident that the 100-day plan which has received bi-partisan support will strengthen good governance, which augers well for much needed healthy foreign investment to the country” Mr. Brito added.

Profit before tax from the tourism sector was up by 3.5 per cent to Rs. 2.5bn while revenue rose by 7.2 per cent to Rs. 12.4 bn, for the nine months. Aitken Spence operates a wide portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. Its travel arm, the largest in Sri Lanka, is a joint venture with TUI Travel. It also acts as GSA for major airlines in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The Group’s Hotels arm is currently overseeing two large hotel projects in Negombo and Ahungalla.

Maritime& Logistics sector recorded Rs. 525 mn as profits-before-tax, a decrease of 2.8 per cent over the previous year, while revenue was up by8.5 per cent to Rs. 5.2 bn. Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics services provider and has port management services in Africa and the South Pacific.Port operations in Fiji contributed significantly to the sector profits with the company achieving high efficiency levels in the ports of Suva and Lautoka.

Strategic investments sector showed a rise of 32.7 per cent in profits-before-tax and 10.1 per cent in revenue, to Rs. 695 mn and Rs. 10.6bn respectively, for the period under review. Power, printing and garments businesses performed better than last year during the nine months, with investments in new machinery and expansion of manufacturing facilities.

The Group’s services sector saw profits-before-tax falling by 42.4 per cent to Rs. 104 mn and revenue rising by 14.4 per cent to Rs. 607mn. The services sector includes financial services, insurance, elevator agency and technology businesses.The fairly nascent technology business accounted for a significant share of the losses in the services sector.

Aitken Spence Launch Brand Fiji Ports

11 Feb

Fiji Ports

Aitken Spence-run Ports Terminal Limited which operates Fiji’s two main ports has been rebranded as Fiji Ports recently at an event attended by senior government and Aitken Spence officials.
Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who attended the launch commended the efforts by Aitken Spence PLC in honouring the partnership with the Fiji Government by improving services and operations at the two major ports in the country.
Aitken Spence entered into a public-private partnership with Fiji Ports Corporation acquiring 51 per cent of the shares in Ports Terminal Limited in 2013 to oversee the repair and operation of the ports of Suva and Lautoka.
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC J M S Brito and Chairman & CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake attended the launch.
“It has been a wonderful partnership, it has been a wonderful collaboration which has the levy that had been charged on containers coming into Fiji being lifted now which not only has financial benefits for exporters but also for importers”, said the Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
“It also came as Government’s faith in Aitken Spence PLC, through the Public-Private-Partnership continues to be vindicated. Enormous achievements have been made by this management company”, he added.
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, J M S Brito said, “We are pleased to show significant positive results to the Government of Fiji since our investment in the ports of Suva and Lautoka. We are exploring investment opportunities in hotels, power generation, printing and other sectors where we have decades-long experience and expertise”.
Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics Chairman & CEO and Director of Aitken Spence PLC Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake speaking at the launch reiterated company’s commitment to stakeholders present at the event.
“When you have the right product, we can launch a marketing campaign to boost volumes thereby attracting new shipping lines. And when you have more shipping lines, you will have more capacity and when you have more capacity, the freight rates are bound to go low. This would boost exports and imports and generate more employment and enable Fiji to become the hub of the South Pacific”, said Dr. Dissanayake.
“In Sri Lanka, we say port is the heart of the nation. And when you have an efficient port blessed with the right location like Fiji’s, you would establish not only a maritime hub but also aviation and a logistics hub”, he added.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

Aitken Spence Printing Receives International Recognition with an Integrated Management System

22 Jan
Certification awarded by Bureau Veritas Lanka (Pvt) Ltd to Mr. Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC  and Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing

Certification awarded by Bureau Veritas Lanka (Pvt) Ltd to Mr. Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC and Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing

Industry leader, “Sri Lanka’s Master Printer”, Aitken Spence Printing’s further strengthened its leadership in the region with international benchmark in certification for integrated management system (IMS) in compliance with ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and BS OHSAS 18001:2007. The comprehensive audit was carried out and certification was awarded by Bureau Veritas Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

Previously the Company’s 77,000 sq. ft. new facility spread over 3.4 acres on the outskirts of Colombo with modern technological and sustainable features was awarded LEED-NC: GOLD Certification under the newly established campus category, by the U.S. Green Building Council.

‘We recognize IMS is well-aligned with our long-standing commitment to sustainability and with our reputation for providing the industry with the best and most innovative solutions in sustainable printing and packaging. We believe in an adaptive manufacturing style that will continuously help us to grow by developing differentiated, practical, and ingenious solutions while building lasting customer relations” said Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

The only Sri Lankan organization to be selected as a finalist at the ‘Sustainable Vendor Award 2014’ at the Fonterra Vendor Awards & International conference in New Zealand in year 2014, the Company continues to be internationally recognized for its commitment to sustainability. The awards are presented to exemplary organisations that consistently demonstrate outstanding success in their work in the criteria of commitment, potential benefits, innovation and best practice, and ease of implementation.

Noting on emerging as a finalist Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake added “We are pleased to place Sri Lanka in the global map for sustainable printing and packaging solutions. It’s extremely rewarding to see how our company has evolved quickly to a sustainable printing and packaging solution partner internationally”.

“Having grown along with our success, we are committed to sharing and supporting local communities and industries in Sri Lanka” He further added.

Such an initiative was recently concluded with the re-establishing and refurbishing deaf & blind school’s offset printing unit. The school enables care to over 400 students who are now able to access the renovated facility that was in dilapidated condition. Further the Company has arranged tailor-made training programmes for differently-able students and recruited an individual.

Ms Andrea Gregory – Director - Group Procurement of Fonterra, New Zealand handing the Finalist award for ‘Sustainable Vendor Award 2014’ to Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing, with Mr Murray Bays – Regional Procurement Manager Fonterra, New Zealand and Rohana Navaratne , Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Printing.

Ms Andrea Gregory – Director – Group Procurement of Fonterra, New Zealand handing the Finalist award for ‘Sustainable Vendor Award 2014’ to Mr. Prasanna Karunathilake Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing, with Mr Murray Bays – Regional Procurement Manager Fonterra, New Zealand and Rohana Navaratne , Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Printing.

The Printing facility’s surrounding – the Mawarmandiya community is constantly engaged through creation of job opportunities for the youth, while providing English and Computer training programmes for the children through the parent company’s initiative – ‘Empowering Sri Lanka First’ (ESLF).

The Company continues to invite scholars to factory in order to study, evaluate and understand best practices and sustainable initiatives followed by the organization.

With a heritage spanning over five decades, Aitken Spence Printing is known as an innovative quality printing and packaging solutions provider for prestigious international brands in fast moving consumer goods, tea, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and apparel industries locally and globally. It is also recognized as top quality printer for corporate reports, coffee-table books, magazines and other high-end publications.

Aitken Spence Hotels Bags Gold Once Again at the 50th CA Annual Report Awards

10 Jan

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC emerged victorious once again walking away with the Gold Award in the Hospitality Sector category at the prestigious of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards.

The golden jubilee of the annual report awards was held recently at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre. The competition which covers 22 sectors from small business categories such as NGOs, clubs, associations to large conglomerates had a total of 130 organisations submit their annual reports for the coveted awards this year.

The annual competition formulated to encourage transparency and accountability in financial reporting in the corporate sector recognizes companies which have demonstrated excellence in transparency, accountability and good governance via their annual reports. The evaluations were conducted under a stringent three stage system where the shortlisted reports were subjected to an industry expert panel review; the reports selected for the final stage were evaluated by a final panel of judge’s chaired the Central Bank Governor.

Mr. Susith Jayawickrema, Managing Director & Mr.Tilak Gunawardana, Vice President, Finance accepting the award & certification

Mr. Susith Jayawickrema, Managing Director & Mr.Tilak Gunawardana, Vice President, Finance accepting the award & certification

Sustainability, transparency and accountability are stringently practiced at Aitken Spence Hotels and winning this accolade provides a clear indication on its commitment to report on its economic, social and environmental impacts. “We see corporate sustainability as part of our core business strategy and ensure that our commitment is filtered down to every operation. This commendation reflects Aitken Spence Hotels’ track record of commitment to corporate accountability and championing sustainable tourism by producing industry best practices. We will continue to stay committed to delivering exceptional sustainable experiences to our guests whilst continuing to our stringent practices in corporate governance”, said Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels manages a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. The company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence. Located in some of the key tourist locations, each of the properties cater to a diverse client base.

Aitken Spence Brings Brazil’s Leading Tour Operators to Sri Lanka

5 Dec

Twelve leading tour operators and destination promoters from Brazil arrived in Sri Lanka on a week-long familiarization tour sponsored by the country’s largest destination management company, Aitken Spence Travels.
The tour is being jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil and Aitken Spence Travels. The operators visiting Sri Lanka are amongst largest members of BRAZTOA, the umbrella organization of travel companies in South America’s largest nation.

Brazilian Group 01_1VIP_2637 VIP_2752
“Brazil is one of the emerging economic giants with a population that is becoming increasingly global in its outlook, with corresponding growth in international travel. It is in the long-term interest of Sri Lanka to develop a healthy mix in its tourist portfolio. Over the last decade we have been aggressively targeting new markets for Sri Lanka which we believe has contributed to only our growth as a company but to Sri Lanka as a destination”, said Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.
Aitken Spence Travels is joint venture between the world’s leading travel company TUI Travel PLC and local conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC.
During the eight day familiarization programme organized by Aitken Spence Travels, the Brazilian tour operators will have the opportunity of visiting many of the islands key tourist hotspots, including the Cultural Triangle, Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya, Yala National Park, Galle and the south west coast.
The visiting party were hosted for a welcome dinner at the Taj Samudra Colombo on Wednesday the 3rd of December. The Brazilian representatives were met by the Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil Raja Edirisuriya, Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman & Managing Director J M S Brito, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels Nalin Jayasundera, Vice President/COO of Aitken Spence Travels Tikiri Ellepola and Area Director Sri Lanka & General Manager Taj Samudra Rohit Khosla.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil, Raja Edirisuriya said that attracting Brazilian tourists is only a matter of making them aware of the uniqueness of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. He was optimistic that tourist arrivals from Brazil can be increased substantially if an effective promotional campaign is launched.
With increasing disposable income, Brazil is becoming an important source for global tourism, especially for Asian countries. According to Euromonitor International, the number of outbound tourist trips from Brazil continued to increase strongly in 2013, growing by more than 12% to reach 9.1 million trips. This increase was well above Latin America´s average of 7% for the same year.
Asia has become one of the new destinations for many Brazilians and an increasing number of tourists visit Asian countries every year. Thailand alone receives more than 40,000 tourists from Brazil annually, leading Brazilian tour operators, said that Sri Lanka will be a highly demanded destination by many Brazilians in years to come.

Aitken Spence Enhances Efficiency at Fiji Ports

13 Nov

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Since taking over management control of the International Fijian ports of Suva and Lautoka in July last year Aitken Spence has increased ship crane productivity by 70 per cent.

Aitken Spence has also reduced berthing delays from between 12 to 18 hrs to 0.50 hrs on average while equipment downtime has been reduced by 60 per cent.

The substantial efficiency improvements were highlighted by Chairman/CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime, Logistics & Cargo and Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Dr Parakrama Dissanayake, in his address at the 39th Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference held in the island country of Niue from 28th – 31st October 2014. The conference themed “Our Pacific shores, the waves of possibilities’ was attended by 26 countries in the South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.

Marking the first ever public-private partnership by a Sri Lankan company, Aitken Spence entered into a public-private partnership with Fiji Ports Corporation acquiring 51 per cent of the shares in Ports Terminal Limited in 2013 to oversee the repair and operation of the ports of Suva and Lautoka.

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing,garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

“We are confident the private-public partnership would result in the establishment of Fiji as the gateway to the Pacific” said Dr. Dissanayake.

“We will bring in the global best practices in human resources and the processes in the system and also in the sphere of having the right machinery to having the right level of productivity,” he added.

The Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference emphasized the importance of safety and security of all ships navigating the vast Pacific Ocean for maritime transportation and trade within the region.

The conference provided an opportunity for port members from the Pacific Island countries and territories to share ideas, enhance understanding and promote co-operative approaches to the achievement of conference.

The conference noted that in order to improve safety and security, ports and infrastructure providers need to embrace a business outlook,with operation and service strategies that adhere to legislation and encourage improved performance.

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