Aitken Spence Facilitates Cruise Ship Call on All Four Ports in Sri Lanka

30 Jan

csm_EUROPA2_f1-EUROPA_2_Aussenmotiv_81efd60944

For the first time in Sri Lanka a cruise ship has made calls on the four main ports of Sri Lanka. The Luxury Cruise Ship Ms Europa 2 owned by German Operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten called on the 29th, 30th and 31st January 2016 to the Ports of Galle, Colombo, Hambantota respectively and have arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on the 1st of February 2016.

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka which is a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC is the local agent for Hapag-Lloyd, a top five global container operator. During her stay in Colombo on the 30th January 2016 at the request of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the local agent Hapag-Lloyd Lanka carried out a full passenger turnaround in Colombo on 30th January 2016 which included, embarking and disembarking a total of 740 passengers.

Ms Europa 2 is a newly designed luxury cruise ship, which is considered as one of the most spacious cruise ships on the market. Every year the Ms Europa 2 sets sail on its journey around the World to visit Ports that are unreachable by other ships due to its size.

Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten has decided to have more frequent callers to Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee and Hambantota and are scheduled to call all four Ports in Sri Lanka in 2017/18. A full passenger turnaround is once again scheduled to take place in 2017 and as well as in 2018.

On April 7th 2015 Ms Europa, the sister ship of Ms Europa 2, called the Ports of Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo.

Aitken Spence Partners SriLankan Airlines to Promote Sri Lanka across India

18 Jan
Mr. Suranga Ratnayake General Manager Aitken Spence Travels & Mr. Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager Noth India flanked by so

Mr. Suranga Ratnayake General Manager Aitken Spence Travels & Mr. Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager North India flanked by some of the Top Travel agents during the presentation

Aitken Spence Travels, Turyaa Kalutara and SriLankan Holidays have joined hands to launch a promotional campaign across several cities in India to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka. The campaign will consist of cinema and TV advertising, as well as presentations to key agents covering all the main cities.

Aitken Spence Travels is the largest tour operator bringing in over 120,000 tourists to Sri Lanka. SriLankan Airlines flies to 7 destinations in India. The 200-room Turyaa Kalutara is the latest property opened by Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator, Aitken Spence Hotels.

The campaign will break and coincide with the Thai Pongal festival on TV and on 50 Cinema locations in major cities and states such as Mumbai, Karnataka, Bangalore, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, West Bengal, Kolkata, Delhi, Kerala and Cochin.

Aitken Spence Travels has developed two exclusive travel packages, namely ‘The Best of Sri Lanka’ and ‘Waves of Fun’ for this promotion, which is combined with air fare by SriLankan Airlines.

‘The Best of Sri Lanka’- a 5 days/4 nights package- would give the Indian traveller the experience of savouring some of the most beautiful locations in the island that includes sites of the “Ramayana trails”. The traveler will also stay in some of the finest hotels in Sri Lanka during the tour, such as Heritance Tea Factory, the Earl’s Regency and Turyaa Kalutara.

‘Waves of Fun’ package is a 4days/3 nights exclusive package at the beach at Turyaa Kalutara, allowing the traveller to enjoy time out for themselves with many excursions they could pick and choose.

Sri Lankan Airlines has launched the special Sri Lanka travel packages to the top Indian Tour operators in three of the most important source cities in India through exclusive events. Accordingly, launch events took place in Delhi on the 8th of January, in Mumbai on the 13th of January and in Chennai on the 18th of January.

“Last year compared to the overall growth in tourist arrivals of 18%, Indian tourist arrivals experienced a growth of 30% and remains the number one country for tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka with a figure of over 320,000 arrivals. In order to show our further commitment to the Sri Lanka Tourism product, SriLankan Airlines will continue to promote Sri Lanka with tailor made packages to the Indian market throughout the year”, said SriLankan Airlines’ Manager for North India, Chinthaka Weerasinghe.

“As Sri Lanka’s leading destination management company, we have relentlessly pursued unchartered markets globally, bringing in valuable diversity to the country’s tourist portfolio. Sri Lanka as a destination has to have a strategic focus on India for many obvious reasons, such as proximity, connectivity and size. There is tremendous potential in developing the Indian market for Sri Lanka. We see SriLankan Airlines as a critical partner in this process who have continued to support the industry in promoting destination Sri Lanka”, said Aitken Spence Travels Managing Director, Nalin Jayasundera.

Part of the gathering of Top tour operators in India who were part of the presentation

Aitken Spence Printing Brings Sri Lanka’s First Carbon Neutral Six Colour Offset Press

7 Jan

XL-75-PIX-2

Heidelberg XL 75 machine in operation at Aitken Spence Priting premises

Industry pioneer Aitken Spence Printing recently installed the Heidelberg XL 75, the first CO2 free printing press in Sri Lanka, strengthening its position as the leading sustainable printing and packaging services provider in the region.

The high energy efficiency and the careful use of resources makes German-made Heidelberg XL 75 the most eco-friendly machine in its class. The CO2 footprint of the printing press is calculated according to cradle to gate and additionally the transport to the customer. It is based on a detailed analysis of energy consumption and transport needs, as well as on the percentage of the various materials with their specific CO2 footprint. In this case, not only the CO2 emissions caused during the production at Heidelberg is taken into consideration, but also those of the suppliers.

“We are committed to give our customers the printing and packaging solutions that will allow them to exceed stakeholder expectations in reliability, quality and sustainability. This machine increases our capacity and improves our level of agility in terms of handling low volume, high variety customer orders”, said Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

The company which counts six decades in the industry, brought international recognition to Sri Lanka by being the first in the region to operate from a LEED Gold Certified facility with its processes certified as carbon neutral. Aitken Spence was selected as one of the best five sustainable vendors at the Fonterra 2014 Global Vendor Awards in New Zealand.

In procurement, the company sources environmentally friendly, heavy metal free and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials, while materials are disposed by recycling and reusing. Mr. Karunathilake added: “Our focus is on sustainability. Our sustainability initiatives embodied holistic approach of printing, which encompasses innovation, people, facility, products, processes, technology, logistics and marketing. We believe that sustainability is not a simple list of discrete actions, but a continual improvement process, a culture and a way of pulling together the entire supply chain towards Green. We will be moving towards the ambitious goal of developing an integrated green supply chain, in line with the global movement for sustainable value chains”.

Spanish Global Family Business Expert Impressed by Sri Lanka

5 Jan

Zugaza family in the cultural triangle

Mr. Jose Manuel Zugaza and family in Polonnaruwa

One of the most globally well-known family business consultants, Jose Manuel Zugaza celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife and three children in Sri Lanka recently. Mr. Zugaza, a former Executive President of Banco de Madrid of Spain and now the Managing Partner of UNILCO, a leading consultancy for family companies. The Zugaza family experienced the Cultural Triangle in a tour organized by Aitken Spence Travels through their partner, a high-end tour operator in Spain. Aitken Spence Travels is the largest inbound tourist operator in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Zugaza and his wife Carlota Escribano, who is a Director of Institutional Relations at the Development Bank of Latin America described their visits to the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Dambulla Cave Temple as “epic”. They also took part in a biking tour through the ruins of Polonnaruwa, another UNESCO World Heritage site.

“We will never forget encountering a herd of elephants on the main road, from Polonnaruwa on our way to a Safari tour in Minneriya”, said Ms. Escribano.

Jose Manual Zugaza is also the President of the Asociación Española de Consejeros de Empresas Familiares, Member of Family Business Network (F.B.N.) of Lausanne (Suiza), Member of Family Firm Institute (F.F.I.) of the USA and external adviser for Executive Family Boards in Europe and Latin América, among others. He is an expert on generational transition processes, and a specialist mediator in conflict resolution family business. He is the Author of several publications on strategies for family business and he wrote the book “Las Equivocaciones Que Nos Hicieron Triunfar” (“The mistakes which made us succeed”).

Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE and Cruise. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services. Partnered with the world’s largest tourism integrated company, TUI group, with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business.

Aitken Spence Travels hosts Top Travel agents from Egypt

10 Dec

Aitken Spence Travels hosts Top Travel agents from Egypt

Top travel agents from Egypt were hosted in Sri Lanka by Aitken Spence Travels for a five-day educational tour in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Cairo and airline partner Emirates Airlines recently. The objective of the familiarization visit was to give them a first-hand experience of the product on offer and ensure that all the agents are educated well in selling Sri Lanka as a leisure destination in Egypt.

Commenting about the destination and what they had experienced, the agents were full of praise at the natural beauty Sri Lanka has to offer. The varied attractions of lush green natural vegetation, misty cool green hill country, the abundant wild life and of course the sun kissed golden sandy beaches were greatly appreciated by the group. The group was of the opinion that Sri Lanka has a better product to offer than regional locations such as Bangkok, Malaysia & Singapore.

We will work closely with the travel agencies in Egypt to popularize Sri Lanka as a preferred leisure destination for Egyptian travelers. Sri Lanka being one of the safest destinations in the world along with its tropical attractions and easy access to visas with traditional Sri Lankan hospitality will be an ideal getaway to the Egyptian traveler.

Aitken Spence Travels the winner of the Presidential award for 3 consecutive years and the only DMC to enter the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya plantations.

Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE and Cruise. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services.

Aitken Spence Travels hosts President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association to Sri Lanka

4 Dec
Lebanese Travel Agents Visiting Sigiriya

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with other Lebanese tour agents visiting Sigiriya.

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with a group of high profile Lebanese tour agents on an educational tour to Sri Lanka was welcomed and hosted by Aitken Spence Travels recently. The group’s main objective was to update themselves about the destination and explore possibilities of developing new tours based on their 14-year relationship with the company.

As the market leader that penetrated the Lebanese market way back in 2001, Aitken Spence Travels has enjoyed the first mover advantage and handles the bulk of the inbound Lebanese travelers to Sri Lanka. The country recorded over 3,700 Lebanese travelers last year and this number is currently growing at 20 per cent.

The Lebanese travelers prefer to travel to Sri Lanka specifically during Eid, Easter, Christmas and summer holidays which usually fall during June, July & August. Many honeymooners and groups prefer Sri Lanka as a destination and enjoy the many new attractions the country has to offer including shopping at all international branded stores.

Commenting on his visit to Sri Lanka President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud said “I have been in love with Sri Lanka since my first visit way back in 2001. I could safely say that this is my second home. You have a beautiful country which is a tropical destination to many Lebanese who enjoy attractions such as the abundance of beautiful nature, the rich culture, the sandy beaches and the varied wild life Sri Lanka has to offer. So we need to look at creating more and more new tours highlighting these products to attract travelers from Lebanon that would further strengthen and grow the market”

“We have invested heavily in this market ever since we entered it. All our efforts through promotions, airline promotions and educating the agents has paid rich dividends in reaching the current position. We will not relay on our current laurels and will ensure that we further strengthen the relationships and develop more tours that would help us tap in to untapped potential travelers of Lebanon” stated Mr. Darell de Crusz AVP Marketing of Aitken Spence Travels.

Aitken Spence Travels the winner of the Presidential award for 3 consecutive years and the only DMC to enter the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya Plantations.

Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE and Cruise. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services. Partnered with the world’s largest tourism integrated company, TUI group, with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business.

Aitken Spence Hosts WACO International Conference in Colombo

3 Dec
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From left to right: Mr. Rohantha Peiris – Managing Director, Aitken Spence Cargo, Mr. Jerome Brohier – Vice President, Aitken Spence Cargo, Waco board members Mr. Shinji Kitamura , Mr. Kristjan Palsson , Mr. Rajan Brito – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. Thomas Reuter – Waco board member, Mr. Stephen Knight – Chairman,Waco, Mr. Richard Charles – Executive Director,Waco, Mr. Arthur A. Da Silva – Vice Chairman, Waco & Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Chairman & CEO Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics and Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence Cargo hosted the 83rd General meeting of WACO, the world’s foremost independent global freight management & logistics networkrecently, for the first time in Sri Lanka.

With 64 countries in attendance, the event gives the network global partners the opportunity to meet during the bilateral meetings and discuss future plans and strategies as well as review past initiatives.Aitken Spence Cargo was the host member and is the WACO representative in Sri Lanka since 2002.

An exclusive network consisting of independent freight management companies, Waco was founded in 1973. Its current membership is from 104 countries in over 450 locations employing over 30,000 freight professionals handling over 2 million shipments per year with an annual turnover of USD 4 billion. The company is an association owned by its members with its corporate head office in Zurich and operational management in London.

Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics Chairman & CEO and Director of Aitken Spence PLC Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake spoke on “Global Container Shipping – Challenges / Trends and Implications on Indian Sub-Continent Transhipment Hubs”, as the keynote speaker.

Members of the Board of WACO led by its Chairman Stephen Knight, at a meeting with Aitken Spence representatives led by its Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J M S Brito discussed opportunities arising from the new government’sagenda for infrastructure development and initiatives in propelling Sri Lanka as a maritime hub.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics services provider. Aitken Spence Cargo is considered as the company that pioneered freight forwarding in the country, now providing total freight and logistics solutions with offices in 15 locations. It has offices in Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan. Aitken Spence Cargo represents Qatar Airways Cargo in Sri Lanka, TNT Express in Sri Lanka & Maldives, while also representing SriLankan Airlines Cargo in theMaldives and Bangladesh.

Aitken Spence Records Rs. 1.5bn as PBT for Six Months

13 Nov

AS Building

Diversified group Aitken Spence posted a pre-tax profit of Rs. 1.5 bn for six months ended 30th September 2015, while reporting a post-tax profit of Rs. 1.15 bn.
The blue chip’s half-year revenue was recorded as Rs. 11.9 bn, results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange revealed. Profit attributable to equity holders was Rs.781 mn for the six months while earnings per share was Rs. 1.92 for the same period.
The conglomerate posted Rs. 773 mn as pre-tax profits and Rs. 567 mn as post-tax profits for the second quarter while recording Rs. 6 bn as revenue. Earnings per share for the quarter stood at Rs. 0.89.
The corresponding results for the previous year included the profits from the operation of the Embilipitiya power plant and insurance proceeds received for the damaged water villas at one of its resorts in the Maldives. If these items were excluded from results of the previous year it would have resultedin a favourable increase in the consolidated profit before tax by 24%.
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.
Tourism sector recorded a pre-tax profit of Rs. 900 mn with revenues of Rs. 5.76 bn for the six months. Maritime and Logistics sector performed well with Rs. 527 mn as profit before tax and Rs. 3.42 bn as revenue for the same period. The Strategic Investments sector, which includes the power generation segment, recorded loss of Rs. 32 mn with revenue of Rs. 2.3 bn for the first half of the financial year. The Services sector recorded an improved performance with pre-tax profits of Rs. 109 mn, whilst revenue stood at Rs. 426mn, for the six-month period under review.
Recently, Aitken Spence PLC entered into an agreement to acquire a 20% shareholding in Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL). FPCL manages all the major Ports in Fiji and is a wholly owned government company. Aitken Spence entered into the first ever Public Private Partnership overseas by a Sri Lankan company when it acquired a controlling shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd in 2013 and signed a 15 year concession agreement to manage Suva and Lautoka international ports in Fiji
Aitken Spence Hotels recently announced the launch of its latest brand, Turyaa by Heritance, at the World Travel Market in London. The brand portfolio consists of Turyaa Chennai and Turyaa Kalutara with several other properties expected to join the brand in the next two to three years.
Aitken Spence expanded its presence in the Maldives through its acquisition of Raafushi Island in Noonu Atoll on a head lease this April. Plans are being reviewed for an approximately 200-room resort in the island.

Aitken Spence Expands its Footprint in the South Pacific

12 Nov

Fiji Port 2

Aitken Spence PLC, the pioneering conglomerate which entered into the first ever Public Private Partnership overseas by a Sri Lankan company when it acquired a controlling shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminals Ltd in 2013 and signed a 15 year concession agreement to manage Suva and Lautoka international ports in Fiji, further expanded its footprint in the South Pacific by acquiring a 20% shareholding in Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL). FPCL manages all the major Ports in Fiji and is a wholly owned government company.

Recently the Fijian Government under its divestment programme invited expressions of interests from interested parties to purchase an equity stake in FPCL. Aitken Spence PLC together withFiji National Provident Fund formed a consortium and submitted a bid for a 59% shareholding, which was accepted by the Fijian Government. Fiji National Provident Fund has acquired a shareholding of 39% in FPCL. The legal agreements were signed on 5th November 2015 in the presence of the Hon Prime Minister of Fiji, HE Frank Bainimarama signifying a landmark in the divestment programme initiated by the Fijian Government. The total investment in FPCL by the consortium for a 59% shareholding is FJ$99.12 million (approximately US$ 50 million).

FPCL provides marine and navigation services, port infrastructure development and maintenance, security and International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS), management of local wharves and wharfage services. Additionally, FPCL manages the ports sector and administers tariffs in all major ports of Fiji. FPCL through its fully owned subsidiary Fiji Ships and Heavy Industries Limited provides ship repair services. It also has a 49% shareholding in the port terminal operator Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd, where Aitken Spence PLC has a 51% shareholding.

The Fijian Government through this partnership has taken a major step in achieving its vision of making Fiji the gateway port hub in the Pacific. Aitken Spence PLC, being the only Sri Lankan company to provide port management services overseas is keen to provide the expertise and the technical know-how to realize the vision of the Fijian Government.

Fiji Port 1

DB Schenker Partners with Aitken Spence in Sri Lanka and Maldives

11 Nov

Turku ist die Schnittstelle für die Verkehre nach Nord-Osteuropa (SB Schenker).

(Colombo / Singapore, 26 Oct 2015) As at 1st September 2015, DB Schenker welcomes DBS Logistics Ltd as its newest network partner for Sri Lanka and Maldive Islands.

DBS Logistics Ltd was formed to solely represent DB Schenker in Sri Lanka and Maldives for Air & Ocean Freight as well as Project Cargo. The setup of DBS Logistics was led by Aitken Spence Plc, a publicly listed conglomerate founded in Sri Lanka since 1868. Aitken Spence has diversified interests, which include maritime cargo logistics as well as strategic investments and services. Aitken Spence is one of the largest logistics service providers in Sri Lanka and has pioneered the industry in the country.

Dr Parakrama Dissanayake – Chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime and Logistics Sector and Director of Aitken Spence said, “This partnership in Sri Lanka and Maldives brings together the expertise and experience of a global leader and a regional leader, which will form a catalyst to propel growth. Imagination is what drives innovation & solutions, and together, DB Schenker and Aitken Spence have the imagination to make greater things happen.”

Added Mr Anders Wallin, Chief Financial Officer, Schenker (Asia Pacific) P/L, “DB Schenker has had a long relationship with Sri Lanka since 1980. This new partnership with DBS Logistics marks a new chapter, which will take us to another level of growth in these two important markets, especially benefitting our customers across industries, such as Fashion/Retail, Electronics, Industrial, Healthcare, Automotive, Aerospace and others.”

As DB Schenker’s exclusive Network Partner for Air Freight, Ocean Freight and Project Cargo in Sri Lanka and Maldives, the appointment of DBS Logistics will enable better integration of services as well as enhanced capabilities and quality of service in the two territories.

About DB Schenker:

DB Schenker stands for the transportation and logistics activities of Deutsche Bahn (DB), with more than 95,700 employees in over 140 countries generating revenues of EUR 19.8 billion. DB Schenker has top positions in the global air and ocean freight business, has Europe’s densest land transport network, and has the rail expertise of the largest European rail freight company.

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