Aitken Spence Maritime ushers in the first cruise ship for the season – ‘Costa Victoria’

7 Nov

Aitken Spence Maritime launched the passenger cruise season with Italy’s biggest tour operator Costa Cruises. The luxurious passenger vessel ‘Costa Victoria’ called Colombo Port on the 05th of November 2019 carrying 1,739 passengers and 790 crew members on board.

Costa Cruises offers cruise holidays to Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Costa Victoria is adorned with a stunning combination of Italian and Swedish design, with a capacity to accommodate 2,394 passengers in 918 cabins and suits. During this season, Costa Cruises offers cruise packages to West India, Maldives and Colombo on a fortnightly basis for those seeking to join the voyage from any port of call.

As the local agents, Aitken Spence Maritime persuaded Costa Cruises to continue cruise calls to Colombo, considering all precautions taken by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Navy and the Police ensuring the safety and security of all passengers.

The Costa Cruises will have 6 vessels between November and December 2019 to the Port of Colombo. This operation will act as a key influencer for tourism, paving the way for other cruise operators to call at Sri Lankan Ports.

There are over 700 passengers engaging in excursions to enjoy the city and immediate locations of Sri Lanka such as the Colombo heritage walk, exploring the city of Galle, Kandy and key places of historical interests.

“We are delighted to begin the passenger cruise season by facilitating the first vessel Costa Victoria. Aitken Spence Maritime has been aggressively promoting cruise calls to Colombo and are expecting several cruise operators in the following weeks. It is also inspiring for the team to see their efforts materialise. Aitken Spence Maritime will continue to offer comprehensive, synergised services to cruise operators that in turn will boost tourism in the country,” said Mr. Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of the Aitken Spence Maritime sector.

Aitken Spence Maritime is a pioneer in the industry and was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from shipping and cargo handling services, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Aitken Spence Hotels Victorious with Heritance Hotels Sweeping the Culinary Art Expo 2019

28 Oct

Aitken Spence Hotels Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 – Winning Team

 

Aitken Spence Hotels showed their mettle at the Culinary Art Food Expo 2019 walking away with the championship trophy and an impressive 130 medals in total. Heritance Hotels & Resorts were the stars of the show clinching 126 medals.

Heritance Aarah Maldives emerged ‘Overall Champion’, the second win for the luxury resort within just few months of operations. The property also excelled at the Food & Hospitality Asia Maldives 2019 (FHAM) competition with the highest number of awards won by an individual property.

Heritance Hotels along with Turyaa collectively won 42 Gold, 37 Silver and 51 Bronze medals. Aitken Spence Hotels received the most number of medals for a company at this event.

Heritance Kandalama emerged ‘Most Outstanding Cultural Triangle Team’ with 4 Gold, 11 Silver and 19 bronze medals. Heritance Ahungalla won 22 medals while Heritance Negombo won 21 medals. Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Ayurveda won 4 medals in total. Turyaa Kalutara also won 4 medals at the competition.

Known as South East Asia’s biggest food and hospitality show, Culinary Art Food Expo was organised by Chefs’ Guild of Lanka together with World Association of Chefs Societies and CDC Events & Travels. The event was held from 22-24 October 2019.

Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, Executive Director – Aitken Spence PLC and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels congratulated the teams, expressing delight over the many accolades. “Aitken Spence Hotels, and especially the Heritance properties, are known for their distinction in the culinary field. Our resorts, irrespective of its location, have been commended many a times on the unique F&B offering – by certifications, awards and most importantly, our guests. As such, the awards that are brought home from this competition are not a mere matter of pride but a reiteration of our commitment to nurture talent and present only the very best to those who walk in through our doors,” she said. Ms. Jayawardena, who also heads the Tourism and Leisure sector of Aitken Spence, added “The achievements of Heritance Aarah Maldives is especially commendable as it has been in operation for just a few months and have won two championship awards both in Maldives and Sri Lanka.”

Ms. Jayawardena also asserted that this recognition reflects the Company’s dedication to excellence and passion to drive innovation. “Since inception, the Company has been steadfast in its commitment to cultivate talent, promote innovation, inspire youth and local community development. This is evidence of the talents of our youth and we are proud to call them part of our family. We hope they utilise all available resources to improve their capabilities and together, create memorable holidays for our guests.”

The winning team was recognised at a ceremony held at Aitken Spence Towers, presided by Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence Hotels is part of the Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC and operates 21 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes 11 resorts spread across the island, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to five, four in Oman and one in India.

 

Heritance Aarah

Aitken Spence PLC among the top ten whilst Aitken Spence Hotels bag sectoral accolade at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019

25 Oct

Building on its tenacious journey towards excellence, the conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC was ranked among the ‘Top 10 corporates for the Best Integrated Report’ at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019 held for the fifth consecutive year. Adding colour to the prestigious event and its portfolio of recognition, Aitken Spence Hotels Annual Report presented under the theme “The Moment Momentum” walked away with the award for the Best Integrated Report – Hotels & Travels Sector whilst securing a certificate of Merit for Overall Excellence in Integrated Reporting.

The esteemed awards ceremony organised by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA), was graced by the Chief Guest – Honourable Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya and Keynote Speaker – Prof. Mervyn E. King SC, Chair Emeritus of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and former Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

The Aitken Spence Group with its long and distinguished history of over 150 years as one of the nation’s most respected conglomerates with thriving business interests in major industry sectors in Sri Lanka and beyond, have created a vibrant business enterprise by being smart and far-sighted and now adept at perceiving where the best avenues for value creation lie. The 36th annual report of Aitken Spence PLC based on the theme ‘Future Fit’ reflects the Organisation’s strategic direction that has transformed over the years, embracing international best practice in corporate reporting. It is the eighth integrated annual report which contained information for providers of financial capital and is of interest to other valuable stakeholders. The corporate’s aim is to communicate relevant material information in a concise but comprehensive manner, providing a balanced review of its performance.

As one of the leading Sri Lankan hospitality enterprises, with a uniquely diverse portfolio of properties spread across the region, Aitken Spence Hotels believe that when they create special moments for the people while protecting the environment and creating value for the communities served, they are creating not just one moment, but extraordinary experiences in every sphere of their operations. The eighth Integrated Annual Report of Aitken Spence Hotels comprises rich information that communicates the alignment between the strategy, stakeholder needs, business model and triple bottom line performance.

The dual awards won by the Group and Hotels segment at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards is a further testimony to the Organisation’s commitment to international best reporting practices such as GRI and the IR Framework issued by the International Integrated Reporting Council.

Ms. Dilani Katipearachchi Vice President (right) – Corporate Finance and Ms. Shinska Wijesinha – Asst. Manager (left) Corporate Finance receiving the Aitken Spence PLC Group recognition as one of the Ten Best Integrated Reports.

 

Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone – COO Aitken Spence Hotels(right) and Mr. Dammika Ekanayake – Assistant Vice President (left) Aitken Spence Hotels receiving the award for the Best Integrated Report – Hotels & Travels Sector and a certificate of merit for overall excellence in Integrated reporting.

Aitken Spence Hotels celebrate 14 awards at the South Asian Travel Awards 2019

22 Oct

Aitken Spence Hotels reaffirmed their position as a trendsetting industry leader in hospitality, achieving the highest number of wins at the recently concluded South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2019 – winning six regional awards and eight country awards.

Aitken Spence Hotels in Sri Lanka, Maldives and India were recognised in the Gold and Silver categories.  Gold awards were awarded for the South Asian region and silver awards were presented in the respective countries (Sri Lanka, Maldives and India).

The iconic Heritance Kandalama brought home wins for both Sri Lanka and South Asia under Leading Eco-friendly Hotel/Resort. Heritance Kandalama, designed by the legendary Geoffrey Bawa, celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The world’s first tea factory that was converted into a hotel, Heritance Tea Factory was awarded the Leading Theme Hotel/Resort in Sri Lanka and the region. Providing an authentic ayurvedic experience and having presented Sri Lanka as a leading wellness provider to the world since 2011, Heritance Ayurveda was adjudged winner, again, from both country and region as Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort. The hotel with the widest beachfront in Sri Lanka, Heritance Negombo was adjudged the winner for Leading Designer Hotel/Resort Sri Lanka.

Aitken Spence Hotels in the Maldives contributed to the wins with Adaaran Prestige Water Villas – Leading Bungalow/Villa, Adaaran Select Meddhupparu – Leading Dive Hotel/Resort and Adaaran Select Huduran Fushi – Leading Surf Hotel/Resort. The three resorts won awards in both the country category as well as the South Asian region.

Turyaa Chennai, India, located in the IT corridor and enjoying success as a business hotel won the country award for Leading Boutique Hotel.

Speaking of the recognition, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management.Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena expressed her delight in having secured the most number of wins at South Asia’s most prestigious hospitality and travel industry awards.

“As a key player in the highly competitive and ever-changing industry of hospitality, Aitken Spence Hotels have consistently pursued excellence not just in the experience offered to our guests but also in the work environment enabled for our suppliers and staff. We endeavour towards this with a commitment to attain sustainable growth, contributing positively to the people, planet and economy. Awards such as these reaffirm our strategies and our vision towards creating this holistic growth through superior product offering and service from the heart,” she asserted.

“In all hotels where we are located, we work tirelessly to offer our guests a holiday that celebrates locality whilst promoting unique opportunities for them to experience. The awards we have won celebrate just this,” she said. Ms. Jayawardena thanked the management teams, the General Managers of the Hotels and the entire Hotels team for their dedication which has undeniably strengthened the growth of the company.

Launched in 2016, the prestigious awards for travel and tourism stakeholders in the region has affiliations from regional associations. The awards were held for the third consecutive year at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, India. With over 500 entries from Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bhutan under 36 categories; the recognitions thus received further reiterates Aitken Spence Hotels’ leadership in the region as an innovative hospitality service provider.

Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio consists of 21 properties, with eleven owned and managed properties in Sri Lanka, five in Maldives, four in Oman and one in India. The hotel chain recently introduced the ‘Heritance’ brand of hotels to Maldives earlier this year with the opening of premium all-inclusive all-villa property, Heritance Aarah.

 

Heritance Kandalama

Leading Eco-friendly Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

Leading Eco-friendly Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Heritance Tea Factory

Leading Theme Hotel/Resort -Sri Lanka

Leading Theme Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Heritance Ayurveda

Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Heritance Negombo

Leading Designer Hotel/Resort – Sri Lanka

 

Adaaran Prestige Water Villa

Leading Bungalow/Villa – Maldives

Leading Bungalow/Villa – South Asia

 

Adaaran Select Meddhupparu

Leading Dive Hotel/Resort – Maldives

Leading Dive Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Adaaran Select Huduran Fushi

Leading Surf Hotel/Resort – Maldives

Leading Surf Hotel/Resort – South Asia

 

Turyaa Chennai

Leading Boutique Hotel – India

 

Aitken Spence consistently ranked among the Top 10 Most Respected Entities in Sri Lanka

17 Oct

The award for Sri Lanka’s Most Respected entity for 2019 is presented to Aitken Spence. From left to right: Ms. Nilanthi Sivapragasam (Chief Financial Officer – Aitken Spence), Dr. Rohan Fernando (Executive Director – Aitken Spence), Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake (Deputy Chairman & Managing Director – Aitken Spence), Mr. Hiran Hewavisenti (Editor-in-Chief – LMD), Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena (Executive Director – Aitken Spence and Head of Tourism & Leisure), Mr. Rohan Pandithakorralage (Chief Human Resources Officer – Aitken Spence) and Mr. Brian Emmanuel (Marketing Director – LMD).

 

Inspired by the heritage and entrepreneurial journey for over 150 years, Aitken Spence shines among the top 10 of LMD’s Most Respected entities hall of fame 2019. Being a conglomerate that has pioneered many successful ventures whilst delivering long term value to all stakeholders, Aitken Spence secured a total score of 299, surpassing many large corporates in Sri Lanka.

The 15th annual edition of the Most Respected entities ranked the nation’s most admired corporations, adopted a revised methodology for ranking entities. LMD’s Most Respected rankings are based on an exclusive survey conducted by a leading research company Nielsen to gauge peer perceptions through a weighted ranking system. The key criteria include financial performance, quality consciousness, management profile, honesty, innovation, dynamism, corporate culture, CSR, vision and nation-mindedness.

Commending the achievement Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC said, “With an impactful legacy of over 150 years not just in Sri Lanka but internationally as well, our priority has always been to be a sustainable and a responsible organisation that delivers long term value to employees, customers, partners, communities and other stakeholders. Moreover, our ability to adapt and to be agile yet strong and stable, guarantees our pledge to stakeholders that we create a positive impact for people and the environment that enriches us.”

“The diversity of the Group’s business sectors and its geographical span has been the corner stone of the Group’s success throughout the years. Investments that were strategically thought out and passionately executed has not only propelled it to greater heights but has also enabled us to withstand the fluctuations of fortunes of the Sri Lankan and global economies. We are extremely pleased that our position among the Most Respected has improved in comparison to the previous years and this is a further testimony that we are moving forward despite the many challenges faced in both the local and global landscape,” he further added.

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, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, IT, Printing and Apparel sectors. The Company is empowered by a team of over 14,000 individuals, with a geographical presence in 8 countries and growing, creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers.

 

Singapore Airlines’ A350-900 Medium Haul Aircraft on its maiden voyage to Colombo

1 Oct

Singapore International Airlines (SIA) will introduce the new Airbus A350-900 medium haul aircraft to Colombo on the 1st of October 2019.

The new medium-haul Business Class seats have been manufactured by Stelia Aerospace. Features of the aircraft are built to enhance the overall in-flight experience by optimising comfort and reducing jetlag, providing better entertainment and personalisation.

The A350-900 medium haul aircrafts are also fitted with the latest Thales AVANT in-flight entertainment system – a first in SIA’s fleet. Passengers onboard will have the pleasure of enjoying Singapore Airlines’ specialised myKrisWorld platform and its selection of more than 1,800 movies, TV shows, audio programmes and games with even greater flexibility. Personalised content recommendations will be based on passenger preferences and viewing history. KrisFlyer members and Business Class customers will also have access to additional in-flight entertainment content choices.  In addition, customers will have access to high-speed in-flight WiFi service on the new A350-900, equipped with Inmarsat GX Aviation’s broadband connectivity system offered through SITAONAIR.

Commenting about this feat, Mr. Hu Hongyao, General Manager of Singapore Airlines Sri Lanka added “Singapore Airlines will celebrate its 50th year in Sri Lanka in 2020. As part of the lead up to our Golden Jubilee celebrations, we are pleased to introduce the A350 Medium Haul aircraft on the Colombo-Singapore route. Singapore Airlines is confident of the country’s recovery in the immediate future and we look forward to be a part of the Sri Lanka success story in the many years to come.”

It is a fitting tribute to the fleet’s loyal passengers to and from Colombo where SIA has maintained a strong relationship for almost half a century, through Aitken Spence Aviation.

“We are extremely delighted to introduce the A350-900 medium haul to Colombo. Customer experience is priority to us; this is articulated strongly in our values as quality and reliability are hallmarks of the SIA service. Our unbroken partnership with Singapore Airlines, spanning over four decades as the longest serving General Sales Agent in the SIA network, reflects the trust and confidence one of the best airlines in the world has placed in our country. We take pride in this and we will continue to set higher benchmarks in the industry,” commented Mr. Vasantha Kudaliyanage, Managing Director of the General Sales Agency for Singapore Airlines.

SQ 468 will take its maiden voyage to Colombo from Singapore Changi Airport at 2200hrs local time on 01 October 2019 and arrive in Colombo at 2335 hrs local time. The return flight, SQ469, will depart from Colombo at 0050 hrs local time and arrive in Singapore at 0720 hrs local time on 02 October 2019.

 

Aitken Spence and its Chairman receive awards at the Most Admired Companies and Leaders of Sri Lanka 2019

30 Sep

Aitken Spence PLC was ranked among the Top 10 Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka 2019 for the second consecutive year by International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka (ICCSL) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka.

The Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka 2019 awards was held on the 25th of September 2019 at BMICH to celebrate the best in Sri Lankan business. The Chief Guest, Honourable Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was present at the event. This award recognises organisations that promote the best sustainable practices and have the highest standards of ethics and governance. Moreover, it distinguishes companies that have built strong reputations and drive prosperity in Sri Lanka through the creation of long-term value.

In addition to recognising the Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka 2019, the Most Admired Leaders of Sri Lanka 2019 were acknowledged at this award ceremony. A special award under the category of ‘Business Accomplishments – Entrepreneurship’ was presented to Deshamanya D.H.S. Jayawardena to pay tribute to a business leader in Sri Lanka for unparalleled success over many years. Mr. Jayawardena is the Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC, the founding director and current Chairman/Managing Director of Stassen Group and other notable business entities in the country. His inspirational leadership has been the underpinning of the noteworthy milestones that the Company has achieved. Furthermore, his entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen, foresight has fueled a capable team at Aitken Spence that are passionate, and purpose driven to reach excellence in every sphere of their work. Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, Director of Aitken Spence PLC, collected the award on his behalf.

“Aitken Spence has always been a cut above the rest in terms of financial performance and value creation for shareholders, customers, employees and the general community while protecting the environment that sustains us. This award is a further testimony that as a responsible organisation, we create positive impact for all our stakeholders and we have and always will be committed to the development of our nation,” commented Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

“This is the second consecutive year to have been selected amongst the 10 most admired companies in Sri Lanka. With over 150 years of business experience in not just Sri Lanka but also internationally, we will continue to raise the benchmarks to excel through sustainable value creation. I wholeheartedly thank the organisers ICC Sri Lanka and CIMA Sri Lanka, and all our stakeholders that have contributed to this end,” he added further.

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, Financial Outsourcing, Insurance, IT, Printing and Apparel sectors. The Company is empowered by a team of over 14,000 individuals, with a geographical presence in 8 countries and growing, creating opportunities for Sri Lanka across new frontiers.

Aitken Spence Hotels introduces LEED certified architecture to Maldives with Heritance Aarah

26 Sep

Aitken Spence Hotels, a subsidiary of Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, took its premier brand Heritance beyond the shores of Sri Lanka for the first time, with the introduction of Heritance Aarah earlier this year.

Heritance Aarah embraces the brand promise of the Heritance chain of hotels, where tradition is alive.  The property is nestled in an island in Raa Atoll, just a 40-minute seaplane ride away from the Male International Airport. With five successful Heritance properties in Sri Lanka, each boasting of inimitable stories of culture merging with hospitality and comfort, the move to open this latest resort comes with the expansion plans of Aitken Spence Hotels.

Coincidentally, Aitken Spence Hotels was also the first Sri Lankan resort operator to venture overseas for hospitality services with its entrance to the Maldives with the Adaaran hotel chain. The well-established Adaaran Resorts includes the stunning Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Adaaran Club Rannalhi and Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi. Heritance Aarah joins this élite group of properties with a unique proposition of quintessentially traditional, curated experiences delicately woven into a five-star luxury resort.

Akin to the Heritance properties in Sri Lanka, each strategically designed in exciting locations, the island of Aarah on which the resort lies is home to a large lagoon and reef, welcoming guests to a tropical tapestry of the perpetual paradise that is Maldives.

Operating as a premier all-inclusive resort, Heritance Aarah consists of 150 villas including 26 intimate luxury duplex ocean suites, 56 sunset ocean villas and 68 land villas ranging from beach villas to pool beach villas, family beach villas and family pool beach villas. Designed to inspire and custom-built to immerse guests in the scenic sights and soothing sounds of the ocean surrounding the island, Heritance Aarah is adorned with earthly hues and vibrant blues.

Guests can indulge in the many charms of the island at a poolside bar and an open-air rooftop venue while ocean suite guests can enjoy a more exclusive space with three separate bars. With nine outlets for guests to experience diverse cuisines, the culinary culture unfolded at the resort is intended to promote exclusive gastronomic delights from around the world. The six restaurants offer a wide range of flavours from Asia, Europe, Middle East to Latin America. The award-winning F&B team of Heritance Aarah has illustrated their exceptional culinary skills clinching 19 Golds at the Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives (FHAM) 2019 competition, the highest number won by an individual property.

Accentuating this impressive offering are the the overwater infinity pool and the medi-spa equipped to cater to the rising demand in the wellness segment with state-of-the-art treatments and equipment. The spa, with six treatment rooms set over the lagoon with views of the eastern coast of the island, provides a range of high-end wellness and pampering treatments, salon services, beauty treatments and programmes. From weight loss to anti-aging treatments, massage therapy to body care, facial care to revitalisation programmes, Heritance Aarah is set to become a destination for those pursuing wellness combined with leisure and luxury.

With variety being the spice of life, the resort hosts a dive and water sports centre, a range of excursions and adventures, an interactive and engaging kids club, and traditional local activities to present a unique luxury holiday experience to guests. Keeping with the brand promise of Heritance to promote culture and tradition at the forefront, the resort unveiled an exciting calendar of daily activities including coconut leaf art workshops, cookery demonstrations for traditional sweets and dishes, traditional Maldivian bodu beru drumming and a memorable local island dinner.

The resort also follows the ingrained ethos of sustainability and ethical commitments of the Aitken Spence Hotels group. Heritance Aarah has drawn the best practices from the Group and has successfully implemented many an initiative which includes (but not limited to) reduction of single use plastic, coral reef restoration and sustainable sourcing with close integration with local communities. Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to attain the LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – the most widely used green building rating system in the world).

Heritance Aarah is the first property in the Maldives to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health. Given the increasing demand and pace of green building in the hospitality sector, LEED is an official recognition that a project complies with the requirements prescribed within the LEED rating systems by the U.S. Green Building Council. Having achieved the Gold level certification from the most widely used green building rating system reiterates the sustainability commitment of Aitken Spence Hotels group.

“Our strategies to expand are led by guests’ expectations and design-led refurbishments to enrich the experience at our properties. A key priority is to ensure our resorts contribute positively to protect and preserve the environment and the ecosystems we operate in. We are proud that we were able to introduce the Heritance brand to the Maldives as the first LEED Gold certified property in the islands,” commented Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management.

“I give credit to the team that has worked tirelessly and conducted extensive research and integrated innovative and sustainable strategies to reduce the carbon and water footprint by 30% and 55% respectively,” she asserted. “These have been successfully implemented and have aided in creating a healthier and safer working environment while maximising guest comfort. These strategies I believe, have contributed towards achieving this milestone for Heritance Aarah.”

Heritance Aarah has opened its doors with a distinctive experience, offering guests a truly one of a kind holiday.

For more details, visit www.heritancehotels.com/aarah.

Aitken Spence Hotels’ Oman sector GMs recognised

30 Aug

Leading hospitality chain Aitken Spence Hotels’ Oman sector was recognised for their service excellence at the recently concluded Oman Leadership Awards 2019 with two of their General Managers being awarded as ‘Oman’s Best General Managers’ in the ‘Hospitality’ category.

The Company’s Al Falaj Hotel General Manager – Hotel Operations and Sales, Praveen George and Desert Nights Camp General Manager Anurin Jansen – Oman Hotels and Tourism Company SAOC, were acknowledged at the award ceremony at Crowne Plaza Muscat by CMO Asia. CMO Asia is the only global network of executives from 110 countries specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers. Held as part of CMO Asia’s 10th anniversary, the awards were endorsed by World Sustainability, World CSE and World Federation of Marketing.

A true trendsetter, Aitken Spence was the first Sri Lankan company to venture into hospitality services in Oman (2008), adding to its credentials of being the first to enter the Maldives (1993) and India (2007) in the same industry, creating avenues for international exposure for our skills. Part of the Company’s prestigious portfolio of properties, Desert Nights Camp is the only luxury desert camp in Oman with 39 Bedouin-style tented luxury accommodation in 10 acres of golden sands in Al Wasil. Al Falaj Hotel is a renowned business hotel in Oman catering to the business and corporate segment of the market. Both hotels are differentiated by their unique offering, standing true to the Aitken Spence promise of delivering distinct experiences.

The award winners – George and Jansen – boast of 3 and 8 years with Aitken Spence respectively and counts over 60 years in experience collectively.

Speaking of the achievement, Aitken Spence Hotels Chief Executive Officer for Middle East, Srinith De Silva commended the duo for their hard work and commitment to excellence. “It is indeed a proud moment to have our General Managers appreciated among the best in Oman. Both George and Jansen have worked tirelessly to achieve excellence in service quality at our properties in Oman, keeping the banner of Aiken Spence flying high beyond the shores of Sri Lanka,” he said.

The awards are initiated to acknowledge those individuals who have achieved extraordinary success from innovative and effective people management and customer satisfaction practices in Oman. “It reinforces the quality of the experience and the development of our hotel brand in this region.” asserted De Silva.

Aitken Spence Hotels manage two other properties in the Middle East, Sur Plaza in Sur and Al Wadi Hotel, located in the ancient maritime capital of Oman and home to the legends of Sinbad, Sohar. The Company owns and manages 11 hotels in Sri Lanka including the famed ‘Heritance’ chain of hotels as well as Turyaa Kalutara, five resorts in Maldives with four under the ‘Adaaran Resorts’ and one, its latest property, under the ‘Heritance’ brand – Heritance Aarah; and Turyaa Chennai in India.

 

Aitken Spence Hotels’ sustainability ethos commended yet again!

22 Aug

Premier hospitality chain, Aitken Spence Hotels, reaffirmed their position as leaders in sustainable hospitality with four Heritance Hotels & Resorts properties walking away with multiple accolades at the National Sustainability Tourism Certification (NSTC) ceremony held on 5th August 2019.

Heritance Kandalama was the only property to be recognised in the Platinum category, the highest accolade awarded at the NSTC, whilst securing a special award for Environmental Preservation. Heritance Tea Factory was placed in the Gold category followed by a special award for Effective Sustainability Management. Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Ayurveda were commended as Bronze winners.

This recognition programme was convened by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) with the technical and financial assistance of Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) of UNDP in mid-2018. The efforts capture the industry’s stance towards the global movement for sustainable tourism and to successfully compete as a high-demand destination.

Aitken Spence Hotels, having operated on a comprehensive sustainable model that takes into account the varied attributes that encompass the triple bottom line, has been a forerunner in the industry for its long-term vision supporting a well-balanced business ecosystem. Moreover, the hotel chain has been recognised both locally and internationally for its efforts. In particular, Heritance Kandalama pioneered the integration of environment and social conscious practices into hotel operations and implementing an extensive 7R system (Reject, Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim, Repair, Replace and Recycle) to reduce carbon and waste footprint.

Among its many accreditations are Heritance Kandalama being the first Green Globe 21 certified hotel in Asia, the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified hotel in the world and the first hotel chain in the World to have a certified energy management system (ISO 50001:2011). All Heritance Hotels and Resorts in Sri Lanka are Travelife Gold certified, while also adhering to ISO standards in environmental management, HACCP food safety and energy management.

“We are elated to be recognised in the National Sustainability Tourism Certification awards. It attests the hard work of our teams to provide exceptional hospitality services while also protecting the environment and empowering our communities.” Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism & Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels Management, Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena said.

“Aitken Spence Hotels have carved a niche in the industry for its forward-thinking holistic sustainability practices that goes beyond the general understanding from an ‘eco’ perspective. The practices have been firmly established within the core of our operations, enabling us to lead from the onset. Our teams continually work towards improving the processes year on year, combining our expertise with emerging trends to serve the industry in the most sustainable manner.” she added further.

More on the hotels’ sustainable endeavours can be viewed at http://bit.ly/33grgzY  (Annual Report 18/19).

The Heritance Hotels and Resorts is part of the hospitality arm of Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC which operates 21 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes 11 resorts spread across the island, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to five, four in Oman and one in India.

Heritance Kandalama General Manager Priyan Wijerathne receiving the award

 

Heritance Tea Factory team receiving the award and certification

 

Heritance Ahungalla General Manager Sisira Senarath receiving the certificate

 

Heritance Ayurveda General Manager Janaka Buddhakorala receiving the certification