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

7 Jan

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

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

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

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

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

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Marella Discovery makes her maiden call to Colombo

27 Dec

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aitken Spence Travels successfully concludes its ‘Big Holiday Beach Clean’ at Ahungalla

31 Jul


Sri Lanka’s largest Destination Management Company, Aitken Spence Travels organized its own ‘Big Holiday Beach Clean’ event in Ahungalla this July, as a part of TUI Travel PLC’s worldwide series which included destinations such as Mexico, Greece, Turkey and even a reef clean in Egypt, to support ‘Make Holidays Greener Month’, the Travel Foundation’s annual campaign to celebrate greener holidays.

Kicking off with volunteers from Aitken Spence Travels, Heritance Ahungalla and its surrounding local community the event attracted more than 150 participants who cleaned a 3Km beach stretch. The area cleaned also includes the proposed five star, five storied hotel which is the latest hotel project of Aitken Spence Hotels, a joint venture with RIU Hotels of Spain, to be opened in mid-2016. Four hundred kilograms of debris collected included various items of plastics, polythene, metal, foam and glass items, which was handed to Heritance Ahungalla for correct disposal of the substances. Further the collected waste will be analysed to assist in better understanding the scale of the issue and implement additional solutions in the future.

6.4 million tons of marine litter enters the world’s oceans each year, which not only threatens wildlife, but also human health, communities and economies around the world.

A keynote speech delivered by Mr. Ravi de Silva, the Group’s Sustainability Consultant, encouraged the local authorities to keep the beaches clean; and to build simple steps so that the public too can take to protecting the environment and local wildlife. Mr. de Silva further reiterated the importance of balancing the eco-system and its impacts from not following such best practices.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the drive. Sustainability is a key focus area for Aitken Spence Travels. We hope to encourage our customers across destinations on the importance of greener holidays and raise awareness on the issues of sustainability in destinations” noted Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

The local authority in Ahungalla headed by Mr. A. Dayarathne, the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Saba promised to support the initiative by assisting in creating further awareness amongst the public while ensuring collective actions are taken by the governing authorities on expanding the mindfulness on such campaigns.

The occasion was attended by the Aitken Spence Travels Management – Lasanth Waravita, Mohan Hapuarachchi, Sajith Wijeneyake, Indika Abeykoon, Axel Storz and by the Executive General Manager of Heritance Ahungalla, Refhan Razeen

With a significant presence in Maldives and fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism, Aitken Spence Travels is the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka. Partnered with the world’s largest name in travel, TUI Travel PLC, and with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business. With the commitment towards offering sustainable tourism, Aitken Spence Travels is endowed the Carbon Neutral status by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund and maintains ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2004 certifications.