Archive | October, 2019

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.