Tag Archives: Heritance

Aitken Spence Hotels joins the digital revolution with its app for iPads

23 May

Aitken Spence Hotels broke new ground recently with the launch of its first digital application for iPads. The application was designed to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the Aitken Spence Hotels portfolio spread across four diverse destinations; and covers the fundamental facets used by guests to decide on their preferred hotel or resort.

 

A holistic integration of the information of 21 hotels is presented in an interactive seamless platform enabling ease of navigation for the user. The app provides a brief description of each hotel affording guests a glimpse to the roots of the property. The types of accommodation that can be enjoyed by guests are also listed with pictorial representations of the room and its amenities. Information on hotel facilities, dining options, event spaces and excursions can be accessed at the tip of a finger. The information is complimented by an extensive gallery complimenting the sensory journey one engages with when browsing the app. It also provides a unified platform for feedback and reservation inquiries creating easy interaction between Aitken Spence Hotels and potential guests.

 

“The digital revolution has created a fundamental need for businesses to evolve their practices. The launch of an iPad app for Aitken Spence Hotels is one of the many initiatives lined up to evolve our practices to offer our guests an engaging and seamless experience The app is the perfect tool to create brand awareness amongst tour operators, destination management companies and tourists from around the world. We plan to evolve the services that can be offered through the app creating ease of access to the modern traveler” says Mr. Althaf Mohamed Ali, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives. The Group also manages a portfolio of hotels in India and Oman. The company’s premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance.

 

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Heritance Tea Factory Secures the First Organic Tea Certification in Sri Lanka by SLSI

25 Jan

Heritance Tea Factory was recently awarded the first organic certification in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) for the cultivation and processing of tea. After eight years of refining the processes used to cultivate and process organic black tea, green tea and herbal tea, the hotel emerged pioneers in achieving the organic certification.

Heritance Tea Factory is surrounded by lush tea plantations that stretch over an expanse of twenty five acres. The mini tea factory in the hotel serves as a processing plant that produces different flavours of tea that are consumed by guests at the hotel and can be purchased as souvenirs. The mission to achieve 100% organic status was first realised in the year 2005 when the hotel discontinued the use of all forms of chemical fertilizer, pesticides or weedicides in the tea plantation. Artificial material was replaced with greener substitutes such as compost manure that is produced at the Hotel’s in-house composting project; replaced fertilizer. The growth of gotukola as an underlayer in the tea plantation was encouraged to prevent the growth of weeds and help in nourish the soil. 

The process of obtaining the organic certification involved a significant amount of hard work and dedication from the team at Heritance Tea Factory. The initial stages called for several tests that were carried out to analyze the condition of the soil and compost manure of the plantation. The tests were conducted at the Agricultural Research Centre in Kundasale and at the Tea Research Institute in Thalawakelle. Experimental samples were also collected from the tea leaves at the Heritance Tea Factory plantation, in order to analyze if the samples of tissues of tea leaves cultivated at the plantation met the specified criteria.  The process also involved three site visits at different stages by the auditors from the Sri Lanka Standards Institute. The first audit was conducted to verify whether the standards met the criteria set by SLSI, the second audit was to measure the progress the Hotel made and to recommend further improvements where applicable and the third and final audit was to confirm the hotel’s suitability for certification.

“Heritance Tea Factory has experienced a positive impact with the achievement of being 100% organic. Guests at the hotel can witness the return of a myriad of birds and insects that once deserted the plantation. We are indeed proud of our achievement and promise to strive to sustain our green initiatives. It is with sincere admiration that I applaud the efforts of those involved in making this dream a reality” commented Mr. Roshanlal Perera, General Manager of Heritance Tea Factory, upon the achievement of the certification.

Heritance Hotels and Resorts operate a portfolio of five unique properties in scenic locations across Sri Lanka. 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.

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Aitken Spence Hotels recognized as Sri Lanka’s Most Energy Efficient for the third consecutive year

23 Dec

Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara emerged victorious at the recently concluded Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards 2013, conducted by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority for private and public sector institutions with the aim of recognizing their contribution towards an energy efficient Sri Lanka.

Heritance Ahungalla was awarded the Silver flame award, one of the highest accolades awarded for the conscious commitment made to enhancing energy efficiency practices within the large scale hotel sector. Recognized as Sri Lanka’s first five star beach resort, Heritance Ahungalla is also the first hotel in the world to receive the ImageImageImage. With the introduction of this Energy Management System, Heritance Ahungalla was able to effectively manage energy consumption without compromising guest comfort. It has enabled the hotel to meet the current and future mandatory energy efficiency targets and requirements of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction legislations and thus given it leverage to emerge as one of Sri Lanka’s most energy efficient hotels.

 

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was awarded a merit award in the large scale hotel category, making it the second year that the resort received recognition for its sustainable energy efficiency practices. The resort created history by being the first hotel in Sri Lanka to enter a Net Metering Agreement using solar photovoltaic as the renewable energy source.  In addition, the hotel also managed to reduce its consumption of furnace oil, with the installation of a solar hot water system which is used to pre-heat the water before it is sent to the heat exchanger which acts as a storage for hot water. This reduces the furnace oil consumed by the boiler. The hotel saves 1,417 liters of furnace oil annually thus mitigating its carbon footprint by 4.6 tonnes.  Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara also houses a biogas plant which uses kitchen garbage as the primary source for the production of biogas which is utilized in the herbal preparation unit of the up-scale ayurveda resort.

The continuous commitment to identify and enhance energy efficiency practices, while demonstrating annual reductions in energy consumption within the chain of resorts has resulted in Heritance Hotels being recognized year on year for its initiatives. In 2011 Heritance Kandalama was awarded the Gold flame award while Heritance Tea Factory won the Silver flame award. Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was recognized for innovative practices to minimize the use of energy and was awarded the Silver flame award in 2012.

In addition to the awards won by the resorts Mr. Damitha Jayarathne was awarded a Merit award for Most Outstanding Energy Manager 2013. This award was introduced this year with the aim of recognizing the efforts made to improve energy performance, reduce negative environmental impacts through the implementation of energy management plans and through significant improvements made to the quality of the initiatives taken.

 

The Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards is a platform that envisages prompting entities to embrace and enact opportunities to conserve energy and contribute to an energy efficient Sri Lanka. “We are truly honoured to have been recognized for the efforts we have taken towards efficient utilization, conservation and management of energy.  From inception to construction, a conscious effort has been made to ensure that sustainable methods are employed. Our hotels operate with a strong, focused commitment towards reducing the environmental footprint associated with the development and operation of a hotel while lending special attention to renewable sources of energy”, said Mr. Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President, Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels. 

 

 

Heritance Hotels and Resorts believe passionately in sustainable tourism and have been very active in engaging both guests and communities in promoting these ethics.  The chain of resorts have a comprehensive policy that focuses on the conservation of energy through the use of renewable energy. Heritance Hotels and Resorts aim to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels annually through the implementation of innovative energy efficient practices.

 

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator and the largest international hotel operator in the Maldives. The Group also manages a portfolio of hotels in India and Oman. The company’s premier resorts operate under the brand Heritance.

Heritance Presents Junior Pastry Chef 2013 : A roaring success

17 Sep

Junior Pastry Chef 2013, presented by Heritance Hotels and Resorts, recently concluded the inaugural competition of its kind on the 18th of August 2013. This exciting edutainment event targeted at kids with a keen interest in culinary experiences, achieved its objective of educating aspiring young chefs and providing them with a platform to display their acquired culinary skills.

The competition was held over a period of three days which tested these little Chefs strengths and abilities. The weekend’s activities kicked off with a training programme conducted by celebrated Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe where he taught the participants the art of sugar crafting and decorating. The young participants were then given the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skill by making animals and figures from fondant. These individual creations were then mounted onto a cake which was auctioned for Rs. 167,000. This money will be donated to Anula Wijerama Children’s Home, Balapitiya.

Upon completion of the training workshops the participants were placed in groups and the semi final round commenced. The 10 best creations in the semi finals qualified for the final leg of Heritance Junior Pastry Chef. The creation of the ten finalists were judged by Chef Gerard Mendis, Chef Madawa Weerabaddana, Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, Chef Srimal Kulatunge .

Khashish Naraindas was adjudged the Heritance Junior Pastry Chef where she won a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 and a stay for her family at Heritance Kandalama. Sasandi De Silva was 1st runner up and clinched a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a stay at Heritance Tea Factory. The second runner up was Hana Cassim and she took home a cash prize of Rs 25,000 and a stay at The Sands by Aitken Spence.

The event was an initiative of the renowned culinary team of Heritance Ahungalla, the reigning winners of the Best Culinary Team, Best Hotel Team and Best Regional Team awards conferred by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka. The team led by Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, the only Chef in the World to have won nine Gold medals for individual events at the Culinary Olympics and the Culinary World Cup have received extensive recognition both internationally and locally for their culinary expertise.

The concept for hosting a competition of this nature was encouraged by the booming tourism industry in Sri Lanka and the growing need for chefs in the culinary world. “The competition was a success and we hope that through this programme, we inspired these young individuals to pursue their aspirations in the culinary field”, said, Mr. Refhan Razeen, General Manager, Heritance Ahungalla.

“We experienced world class service from the moment we arrived and the positivity and energy that surrounded the property was noteworthy. Although we were at Heritance Ahungalla to participate in a competition the staff at the hotel made the entire experience a truly memorable one and we look forward to our future visits to your other properties,” commented Mr. Mahesh Naraindas, proud father of Khashish, winner of Junior Pastry Chef 2013.

The event was made possible by the Main Sponsor for the event Stassens Group, media partners Maharaja Broadcasting Corporation and online booking partner Trekurious.
Khashish Naraindas

Creation of a participant

Heritance Hotels Wins Big at the National Green Awards

24 Aug

The Heritance brand was once again in the spot light when Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory emerged winners at the National Green Awards held last evening at the BMICH. Heritance Kandalama, no doubt the greenest hotel in Sri Lanka and one of the greenest hotels on the planet was awarded the Gold Award in the Large Scale Hotel category. This prestigious award won by Heritance Kandalama was one of four Gold Awards presented at the award ceremony which three hundred applicants vied for. The recent recipient of the Sri Lanka Travel and Tourism award for the island’s Best 4 Star Hotel, Heritance Tea Factory, walked away with the Silver Award in the Medium Scale Hotel category.
Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurs, industrialists, and other stakeholders who contribute their share for environmental conservation and anti pollution were recognized for their excellence in green practice, strategy and products at the award ceremony which was held for the first time this year. Organized by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), The National Green Awards scheme was initiated in order to provide an alternative system to controlling pollution and greening the environment instead of the existing command and control approaches and education & awareness programmes. The main aim of the all island programme is to promote sustainable management of the environment in order to achieve a green country through a clean green environment.
Hon. President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion which was organized to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the CEA. Twenty seven Green Awards were presented in fourteen sectors including textile, hotel, food and beverage, waste management and healthcare sectors.
“This is reaping the harvest of what was sown starting from 1994 by the pioneers. The philosophies practiced by them are still vigorously carried out by our present team. Through strategies planning, dedication, hard work and commitment and through passionate and pragmatic approaches we were able to be in the forefront of practicing sustainability even before the advent of the triple bottom line approach. This is clear evidence of foresight and planning”, said Mr.Ravi de Silva, Environmental Consultant, Aitken Spence Hotels.
Heritance Kandalama, a hotel committed to sustainable practices from conceptualisation to construction to its day-to-day operations has won a large number of awards as one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the world. It has set precedence to other hotels on how they too can be effective responsible tourism players by contributing in terms of conserving the natural environment, protecting bio diversity, empowering local communities, supporting livelihoods dependent on tourism, preserving local traditions, arts and crafts and mitigating climate change especially by using bio mass as renewable energy.

The Heritance Tea Factory, Sri Lanka’s first theme hotel is a unique hotel concept, where a tea factory built several decades ago has been converted into a plush hotel. Retaining its traditional character, this most unusual hotel is situated 6800 feet above sea level amidst the misty mountains and the lush plantations of the hill country. The hotel has been recognized by one of Britain’s widely read ‘Sunday Times’ as one of the 100 best places to stay in the world and ‘The Independent’ selected Heritance Tea Factory as one of the 5 best factory hotels in the world.
“Ecotourism, responsible tourism and sustainable tourism have become the buzz words in the tourism industry, and with the effects of global warming and climate change influencing travelers worldwide towards a more a more sustainable way of traveling. We recognized many years ago that sustainable development is an absolute necessity in today’s world while believing that it is equally important that our heritage is preserved. Heritance Hotels have struck a perfect balance of practicing sustainable tourism while preserving and protecting our heritage for future generations”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, 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 Hotels has set precedence to other hotels on how they too can be effective responsible tourism players by contributing in terms of conserving the natural environment, protecting bio diversity, empowering local communities, supporting livelihoods dependent on tourism, preserving local traditions, arts and crafts and mitigating climate change especially by using bio mass as renewable energy.

The company’s premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. Its latest Heritance property Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara commenced operations in July 2011. It has joined the award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory.

Asia’s Responsible Tourism Award Goes to Heritance Kandalama

26 Oct

Bringing pride to Sri Lanka, Heritance Kandalama won Asia’s Responsible Tourism Award for large hotel category at the ITB Asia tourism trade show held at the Suntec City Convention Center, Singapore on 21 October 2010.

Asia’s Responsible Tourism Awards is organised by Wild Asia and it is the only tourism award of its kind in Asia. This annual award aims to recognize accommodation sector and tour operators in Asia who are making a difference to sustainable tourism.

 

The awards showcase exemplary resorts, hotels and tour operators that are committed to environmentally and socially responsible practices.

This year’s awards attracted a larger and more diverse number of participants, from India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Thailand, Cambodia, China, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Every year, the judging panel select two finalists for each category based on  criteria such as sense of place, whether tourists understand their destinations in terms of the cultural and ecological context; whether the responsible tourism efforts are long-term; involvement of guests, how much the operators involve their guests in their responsible tourism practices; how much sustainability is part of the day-to-day operations and  how the operators strive to improve their responsible tourism efforts continuously.

 

Mr.Jeevaka Weerakone, General Manager, Heritance Kandalama who accepted the award said that “It is a great honour to receive this award and we will continually raise the bar in making Heritance Kandalama an example in Sri Lanka and the world, at the same time developing it into a learning centre for responsible tourism”.

 

Heritance Kandalama, a hotel committed to sustainable practices from conceptualisation to construction to its day-to-day operations was named the winner of the large accommodation category. According to the judges, Heritance Kandalama’s all-round commitment and practices gave it the edge over Malaysia’s Frangipani Resort, Langkawi who was placed second in the same category. In the small to medium category, the Sarinbuana Ecolodge in Bali won the award closely competing with Soneva Gili in the Maldives. Andaman Discoveries from Thailand won the award in the best responsible tour operator category.

 

Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels commenting on the awards said “Heritance Kandalama is well known for its green architecture and eco tourism practices which have been nurtured  since the inception of the hotel in 1994. The hotel has a green philosophy that covers essential responsible tourism practices such as providing benefits to local communities, protecting and conserving natural environment and mitigating climate change.  We believe in championing sustainable tourism safeguarding the very own resources that our business is dependent on for the future of tourism industry in Sri Lanka”. He further added “Winning the best responsible tourism award for large scale hotels in Asia will certainly help us not  only  to project advantages of implementing responsible tourism as part of a tourism business strategy but  also to  promote Sri Lanka  as a sustainable destination”. Theward received by Heritance Kandalama has given Sri Lanka tourism a boost to project its image as a responsible tourism destination.

 

Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism sharing his views on the award commented, “I understand that this year’s awards attracted a larger number and a more diverse group of participants, from India, the Maldives, China, the Philippines, Irian Jaya in Indonesia and also from Sri Lanka. This is a great achievement for Sri Lanka Tourism especially at a time when we are working towards accelerated tourism development with sustainability and responsible tourism in mind. I am thrilled to know that Heritance Kandalama was named the winner of the large scale accommodation category”.

 

A growing concern of the tourism industry is how it will address the complexities of building sustainable destinations which are facing the challenges of global warming and climate change. According to Wild Asia “sustainable destinations can be made a reality by promoting responsible tourism and sharing resources to inspire change from within the travel industry. Wild Asia is guided by UN’s Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The criteria serves as the standard that any tourism business should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for poverty alleviation.”

 

The event was co-organized by ITB Asia, Wild Asia and The Green Circuit, and brought together sustainable tourism practitioners to share, engage, learn and be inspired to make a difference.

 

Heritance Kandalama has won a large number of awards as one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the world. It has set precedence to other hotels on how they too can be effective responsible  tourism  players by contributing  in terms of conserving the natural environment, protecting bio diversity, empowering local communities, supporting livelihoods dependent on tourism, preserving local traditions, arts and crafts and mitigating climate change especially by using bio mass as renewable energy.

Media Release – 26 October 2010

Six Senses partners Aitken Spence Hotels to unveil Six Senses Ahungalla

30 Sep

[Colombo, 30 September 2010]: Six Senses Resorts & Spas, together with the Favourite Group and its associates has signed an agreement with Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC today to establish the first Six Senses property in Sri Lanka as a Board of Investment approved, 50:50 joint venture, worth USD 35-40 mn.

The project will comprise a Six Senses resort and spa as well as beach front residential villas on a 10.5-acre plot, both adjoining Heritance Ahungalla on the Southern coast and on a 27-acre island nearby. The proposed opening date is 2012. Six Senses expects the average revenue per room to be in the range of USD400-450. Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, said, ‘I am absolutely delighted to be opening a Six Senses resort in Sri Lanka, a wonderful country which Six Senses has been interested in for some time. To be working with Aitken Spence on such a project and in such a beautiful area of Sri Lanka is doubly exciting. Aitken Spence shares the core values which Six Senses is based upon, a full commitment to supporting both the environment and local communities, whilst developing a successful luxury operation.’

Six Senses currently operates thirteen high-end resorts branded as Soneva, Six Senses and Evason in the Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, Oman and Jordan. There are also several new developments underway in locations such as Morocco, Turks and Caicos and China. The Six Senses Spa division has twenty-seven company-operated spas, with new spa developments underway in several locations, including India, Morocco and Oman. The group recently launched the Six Senses Destination Spa brand.

Mr. J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC said, “We are extremely pleased to bring Six Senses to Sri Lanka. The entry of a high-end international resort operator with a truly exceptional track record in sustainable tourism certainly strengthens Sri Lanka’s destination brand”.

Aitken Spence Hotels presently owns or manages twenty seven hotels and resorts under the brands Heritance, Adaaran and Aitken Spence Hotels & Resorts in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India and Oman with a total room capacity of 2300. It is the largest resort chain in Sri Lanka and the largest international resort operator in the Maldives. Its pioneering sustainable tourism practices and exceptional service standards have set industry benchmarks and won many global accolades.

“The journey that commenced with Six Senses to create Sri Lanka’s best beach resort sees a key milestone today. Both Aitken Spence and Six Senses share a common philosophy for tourism based on sustainable development. Aitken Spence Hotels has an enduring commitment to cause unforgettable experiences to our guests in tune with nature. We look forward to continue working on exceptional projects with Six Senses in the future”, said Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director of Aitken Spence’s hotels sector.

“We are happy to associate with Six Senses in their first project in Sri Lanka”, said Suren Mirchandani, Managing Director of Favourite Growth Capital.

Following the opening of its first property in 1995, Six Senses has been recognized as the global benchmark for eco-responsibility in the hospitality sector. Its philosophy is developed around the core purpose of creating innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenate their guests’ love of SLOW LIFE: Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wholesome – Learning, Innovative, Fun, Experiences.

Common to both Six Senses and Aitken Spence, sustainability is a key aspect of the design philosophy. From the earliest point in the design process, qualities specific to the environmental surroundings and localized knowledge were incorporated into project development, perfectly aligned with Six Senses’ environmental commitment – intelligent luxury.

The project will look to use locally sourced materials and labour, reducing the construction footprint and supporting local commerce. Six Senses Ahungalla will feature produce and materials from the region.
Six Senses villas are designed to exceed the highest expectations of guests. Offering all the comforts of a home away from home, the villas are generously equipped and offer a diversity of experiences to be discovered by the guests. From an architectural perspective, the villa components have drawn their inspiration from the region’s world-famous architect, late Geoffrey Bawa. Materials for interior design will, where possible, be sourced locally and reflect traditional handicraft techniques indigenous to the area. The resort will also look to establish a collective amongst the local farmers to supply fresh fruit and vegetables. The project will comprise a total of 40 one-bedroom villa suites and 14 two-bedroom beach front residential villas in Ahungalla as well as 15 island villas.

In line with Six Senses award winning standards of food and wine, the resort at Ahungalla will be a reflection of local and national cuisine with international twists. Six Senses Ahungalla will aspire to provide a variety of flavours and textures whilst honouring the sustainable, local, organic and wholesome tenets embodied in the SLOW food concept, via an array of food & beverage outlets.

A special feature of Six Senses Ahungalla will be the Six Senses Spa. A team of highly skilled international therapists will take guests on sensory journeys with Six Senses’ signature and local salt-inspired treatments for balancing the senses. The Six Senses Spa, located between Six Senses Ahungalla and Heritance Ahungalla, will serve both the resorts; making it the best beach resort complex in Sri Lanka.

Media Release – 30 September 2010

Aitken Spence hotels partners with environmental leader EarthCheck

15 Sep

Aitken Spence Hotels is the latest leader in travel and tourism to partner with EarthCheck and certify the environmental practices employed at its chain of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman.

With more than three decades in hospitality and considerable expertise in hotel design, building and management, Aitken Spence Hotels decided to look to EarthCheck to confirm the company’s dedication and commitment to excellence in sustainable tourism.

EarthCheck is the world’s largest certifier of sustainable travel and tourism operators, and will work with the luxury brand portfolios of Heritance, Aitken Spence Hotels & Resorts and Adaaran.

“Environmental sustainability is part of our corporate commitment to responsible business,” said Mr. B H R Sariffo’deen, Assistant Vice President, Aitken Spence Hotels. “While nine of our hotels have already been benchmarked, and three have been certified on the EarthCheck Programme, plans are well underway to ensure that many more become certified in the coming year. Mr. Ravi De Silva, Consultant Social & Environmental Management at Aitken Spence Hotels explained that sustainability is a top corporate priority of the company. The environmental management systems introduced by the company are recognised through the EarthCheck Certifications.

Aitken Spence Hotels is focusing on issues such as reducing, recycling and reusing solid waste; reducing the use of harmful chemicals; conserving energy and water, and improving indoor air quality, all of which have an immediate impact on the environment and the communities where their hotels operate.

Commenting on the EarthCheck partnership, Mr. Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director Aitken Spence Hotels said “Aitken Spence Hotels over the years has invested substantial financial resources and hard work in achieving long term sustainability. Our hotels have been recognised as world class examples of sustainability and have won a number of international accolades. We have experienced that our business associates and our guests are keen to learn about the sustainability practices of the hotels than ever before. Our expertise gained in sustainability in Sri Lanka is now spreading across to our hotels in the Maldives, India & Oman. ”

EarthCheck is considered at the forefront of global sustainability management systems; using advanced science-based benchmarking and capacity building. The programme offers Aitken Spence Hotels a new level of accuracy and transparency that is certification verified by independent, third party auditors.

“Aitken Spence Hotels has long demonstrated their commitment to improving the social, environmental and economic welfare of host communities,” explained Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global. “EarthCheck provides them with a framework for their properties to increase operational efficiencies, maximise the benefit of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, and minimise environmental impacts.” Properties currently participating in the EarthCheck Programme include: Bandarawela Hotel, Browns Beach Hotel, Earls Regency Hotel, Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Tea Factory, Hotel Hill Top, Ramada Resort Kalutara and the former Neptune Hotel.

EarthCheck is the world’s largest certifier of sustainable travel and tourism operators with more than 1000 clients in over 70 countries, the company’s EarthCheck Programme responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. It provides benchmarking, certification and performance improvement systems that result in average savings of 30 per cent for energy and waste stream, and 20 per cent savings for water consumption.

Media Release – 14 September 2010

Aitken Spence Reports Strong Q1 Results

3 Aug

Aitken Spence PLC released its first quarter financial results to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Tuesday, reporting a pre-tax profit of Rs 647mn for the three months ended 30th June 2010, a growth of 33 per cent, compared to last year. Profits attributable to the shareholders soared by 50 per cent to Rs 440mn during the quarter, over the previous year.

Group Revenue has increased by 12 per cent to Rs 5.66 bn, while earnings per share rose 50 per cent from Rs 10.86 to Rs 16.24.

Deputy Chairman & Managing Director Mr. J M S Brito said, “Our Tourism sector performed stronger during the quarter with the Sri Lankan leisure segment reporting an improved performance compared to last year, despite Neptune Hotel being closed for renovation.  We have been able to trim our losses in the Maldives leisure segment, where the industry is still recovering from the downturn.”

During the quarter under review, Aitken Spence Hotel Holding successfully concluded a rights issue of one new share for every four held at an issue price of Rs. 260/- per share to finance future investments.

“Our commitment to Sri Lanka over the years, displayed through investments made into our resort portfolio in the island has positioned us strongly to reap the benefits of the tourism upturn we are beginning to witness. We have aggressive plans to strengthen our tourism interests in the island to position Sri Lanka as a high-end sustainable tourism destination”, added Mr. Brito.

The Group’s Singapore Airlines agency recorded strong growth during the quarter by reporting profits, compared to the corresponding period last financial year. Printing and Insurance sectors showed an improved performance from last year, while earnings from the Cargo Logistics and Strategic Investments sectors remained flat.

During the period under review, Aitken Spence Travels and its subsidiary Ace Travel & Conventions won the two most important awards given for travel companies as the Best Destination Management Company and the Best Conference Organiser respectively for the third consecutive year, gaining entry into the Hall of Fame at the Presidential Awards for Travel & Tourism. The Group’s flagship hotel, Heritance Kandalama was rated as the Best 5-Star Resort in the island for the third consecutive year and was also welcomed to the Hall of Fame.

Media Release – 03 August 2010

Legend of Spin Celebrates Farewell at Heritance Ahungalla

2 Aug

Heritance Ahungalla had the pleasure of honouring the first man in the world to take eight hundred career wickets in Test cricket with a celebratory welcome back to Heritance Ahungalla where the team was staying along with the members of the Indian cricket team during the recently concluded Test match in Galle. As Murali emerged from the bus the hotel team members along with members of the cricket team and guests both local and foreign welcomed the star with much jubilation after which he was presented with the masterpiece cake created by the hotel’s celebrity chef, Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe.

Chef DK as he is fondly known, along with his team had created a forty kilogram cake depicting the legendary spin bowler’s hand in action.  Cricket lovers will be able to experience this culinary creation which will be available on order in various sizes and flavours. Chef DK also specialises in unique wedding cake creations for your special day  and the hotel also provides the additional service of coordinating transport of the cake to the venue.

A cocktail party to celebrate the tremendous achievement of our very own spin wizard was also hosted by the hotel where the Sri Lankan Cricket team along with their families helped celebrate this joyous occasion. The Heritance Ahungalla team along with both local and foreign guests at the hotel along were delighted to have been part of this historic event.

Media Release – 02 August 2010