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Ayubowan! Sri Lanka - 6th News Edition

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Let us present to you the 6th Sri Lanka news edition - Ayubowan! Sri Lanka!

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Ayubowan! Sri Lanka - 5th News Edition

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Let us present to you the 5th Sri Lanka news edition - Ayubowan! Sri Lanka!

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Ayubowan! Sri Lanka - 2nd News Edition

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Let us present to you the 2nd Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka!

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Ayubowan! Sri Lanka - 22nd News Edition

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Let us present to you the 22nd Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • Move to promote maritime archaeology from next year
  • Dehiwala Zoo, Pinnawala Orphanage to get a facelift
  • Sri Lankan Art Exhibition 2013
  • Mirissa whale watching attracts over 4,000
  • 10 botanical gardens in Sri Lanka by 2016
  • Pasikuda Beach – An Idyll for Making Your Toes Happy
  • The Inspiring Art of Pottery
  • Eden Resort & Spa renewed with world-class 5 star luxuries

Move to promote maritime archaeology from next year

A new program to promote maritime archaeology in Sri Lanka will be implemented from next year, Culture and the Arts Minister T. B. Ekanayake said in Parliament. He said the program will be implemented mainly in Kalpitiya, Galle, Kuda Ravana and Maha Ravana.

The minister noted that visitors will be provided facilities to dive and examine underwater archaeological sites with the use of modern technological devices under this program. The minister said visitors will be able to see sunken ships in silk route and other ruins by diving, once this program begins. He said a maritime museum has been opened in Galle to display replicas of sunken ships and other items taken out from them.

The minister underlined that a special integrated program will be implemented from next year jointly with the Ministries of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, Economic Development, National Heritages and Culture and the Arts to promote religious tourists sites of the country. All airline companies have been distributed newly composed CDs with aerial views of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura to promote cultural heritage among tourists.

The minister mentioned that the number of foreign visitors to local Cultural World Heritage sites has doubled over the past three years. He said in 2010 the number of foreign visitors to the sites was 208,461 while in 2012 it increased to 587,738. The income from these sites which was Rs. 761 million in 2010 increased by Rs. 1,341 million in 2012.

Dehiwala Zoo, Pinnawala Orphanage to get a facelift

Director of the National Zoological Gardens, Anura de Silva said during a media briefing that he would be concentrating on improving visitor experiences at the Dehiwala Zoo and the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in 2014.

\\\\\\\"This year, we had 1.5 million visitors to the Dehiwala Zoo and 980,000 visitors to Pinnawala, and 30% of the visitors to Pinnawala were foreign tourists. Such large numbers cannot be accommodated at present and it is causing a lot of congestion and inconvenience to the visitors, so we plan on creating more space within the existing area by reducing the number of redundant exhibits, so that people will have more space to move around when they visit,\\\\\\\" he explained.

Dehiwela Zoo will implement the following sub projects next year: The implementation of stage two in rhinoceros enclosure, work on the exotic bird aviary, renovation of the reptilian area, and the building of a new enclosure for Bengal tigers and jaguar. Rs 180 million have been allocated for these projects.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage will be expanded and the land acquisition for this will be completed in 2014. The orphanage will thus get a new elephant holding area for musth elephants, a separate facility to keep disable elephants and an improved car park to accommodate more visitors.

Sri Lankan Art Exhibition 2013

It was over two decades ago, in July 1993, that the first Kala Pola (Art Mart), organized by the George Keyt Foundation was held on Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha (now the NelumPokuna Mawatha). Since then, backed by the generous sponsorship and essential support of John Keels Holdings PLC, the Kala Pola has continued as a major cultural event held annually. It has provided scores of young, amateur Sri Lankan artists vital opportunities to develop and exhibit their own talents. Indeed eventually, for some of them, their talents have helped them also secure the means to earn their living as professionals in art-related activities including in the corporate sector as well. The next KalaPola is scheduled to be held in January 2014.

The Exhibition of Sri Lankan Art 2013 is currently being held from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th December at the J.D.A. Perera galleries on Horton Place in Colombo. This event has also been organized by the George Keyt Foundation, in association with and sponsorship of the Nations Trust Bank and American Express. It presents works of senior Sri Lankan artists.

The Exhibition was opened by His Excellency Shri Y.K.Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka on Wednesday December 11. On the occasion, His Excellency referred to George Keyt\\\\\\\'s frequent visits to India and his understanding of traditions of Indian painting, sculpture and literature and the impact it has had on some of his art. He indicated that it ``represented a bridge between the cultures of Sri Lanka and India.\\\"

The art on display at the current Sri Lankan Art Exhibition 2013 includes works by around 40 senior artists. They present a wide variety of subjects and contemporary themes communicated through a range of extensive creative styles, modes and techniques. They are too numerous to be all described or \\\"reviewed\\\": hence only a few are briefly commented on.

Mirissa whale watching attracts over 4,000

Over 4,000 tourists visited Mirissa for whale watching last month. Since September, the number of tourists has rapidly increased. In November, 4,556 tourists participated in whale and dolphin watching. Of this, 4,362 were foreigners and 194 locals, Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) sources said. Among the frequent visitors to Mirissa for whale watching are tourists from China, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Russia and USA, the sources said.

SLCG has deployed personnel from the Rohana Coast Guard base to monitor whale and dolphin watching activities in Mirissa since last September. Coast Guard personnel are also involved in assuring boat operators, crew and tourists to follow safety precautions prior to departure, sources told the Daily News.

Among the rules that boat crew and visitors should follow are the distance to be maintained, method of approaches, boat speed etc. to ensure that the mammal\\\\\\\'s natural habitat and behavior is not disturbed, the sources said. Coast Guard personnel have also taken the initiative to educate boat crew on safety aspects and basics of lifesaving.

10 botanical gardens in Sri Lanka by 2016

The department of Botanical Gardens has planned to increase the number of botanical gardens up to 10 by 2016, says the department.

Dr. Cyril Wijesundara, Director General of the department stated that the botanical garden in Awissawella, Ilukowita will be open to public in next year. Further, another 5 botanical gardens will be established in future in Northern, Eastern, North Central and North Western Provinces. The gardens will be established in accordance with the bio diversity and environmental patterns of the provinces, said the director general.

Pasikuda Beach – An Idyll for Making Your Toes Happy

Checking a best dramatic landscape with a ring of white sand, to spend your holiday? Out of many spectacular and beautiful beaches around the world, Pasikuda Beach is an attractive beach in Asia, located in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Not only the picturesque sights, but Pasikuda Beach is a perfect family-friendly sandy spot also with wide sand, calm waves and easily accessible amenities. So, for the travelers who are seeking a beach which has picturesque views and is family-friendly beach, Pasikuda Beach will be idylls to enjoy.

Beautiful Pasikuda lies between Kalkudah and Indian Ocean, with thirty five kilometers from Batticaloa town in Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. With shallow and crystal clear water, golden bay, coral reefs, palm trees and white sand and how great this nature creation makes pleasure to spend the leisure time freely, of not having to look both ways to cross the street before feeling the sand between the toes of yours! One of significant thing of this Pasikuda Beach is that it let beach lovers to walk 50m out to sea and parents can let their kid to enjoy at this beach also. And throughout the year, the beach is crowded by local as well as foreign beach lovers due to it\\\'s a nest place to have many water activities such as kite surfing, boogie boarding to surfing, snorkeling and sailing across in a canoe, while it is able to have a safe environment for swimming. As Pasikuda Beach is with the attraction of surfing the waves, pulling off cool systems, jumping high off the wave and spinning in the air, during the seasons, it is a popular beach of water surfing sportsmen and women as well as it is an ideal destination for the beginners in water surfing too.

If you\\\'re looking for have your next warm-weather escape, this is an unspoiled beach with many unobstructed views, Pasikuda Beach is the perfect destination to experience sun bath and also it is a best holiday venue to have diving to surfing, opt of abundant displays of marine life, to walk along the long shallow coastline and enjoy the pristine sandbank.

Therefore, to return home with \"got-there-first bragging rights\", add Pasikuda Beach for your Sri Lanka\\\'s journey! And, not only this captivating destination, but there are many other attractions can be discovered in Batticaloa also, including Kalkudah Beach, Kallady Beach and Batticaloa Fort.

The Inspiring Art of Pottery

Nestled in the rural heart of Sri Lanka, hidden amidst nature\\\'s endearing beauty is Waddakkarawewa, a close-knit village famed for its artisans of Pottery.

Making earthenware has been the sole bread and butter earner of these villagers for generations. Stacks of finely crafted pottery neatly arranged in stockpiles in front of houses are a common sight that greets anyone who strolls down the narrow pathways of the village.

Making of pottery by no means is a smooth sail. The clay to make earthenware has to be collected during the dry season when the tanks dry up. Despite the jarring journey, potters in Waddakkarawewa go all the way to Wairankulama tank to get clay. During these times villagers help each other in collecting clay since hired labour costs more. Once extracted from the beds of tanks, the clay is made in to balls for easy transportation and sufficient amounts of clay for a whole year are collected.

After the collected clay is brought to Waddakkarawewa and the magic begins. Clay, mixed with sand and water is left for seasoning for two to three days. The seasoned clay is then sliced with a bicycle spoke wire to remove grit, dirt and roots. Followed by slicing is drubbing of clay which is usually done by treading or by a machine to further smoothen the mixture. The mixture is then kneaded by hand to make sure no air pores are left in it. The content of air pores in the mixture averts the outcome of a quality end product.

The sakaporuwa or the turning wheel is about 2.5 feet in diameter. It is fixed onto a central metal pivot, which is fixed to a metal socket that keeps it firmly fixed onto the ground. Craftsman places a ball of clay at the centre of the sakaporuwa and starts moulding it with both hands taking regular intervals to give a spin to the turning wheel. Thus the form and the mouth of the pot is shaped. Then he gives the finishing touches to the rim of the pot using a strip of wet cloth and you get to see the blissful sight of a clay pot just taken out from the sakaporuwa. The bottom of the pot is kept open to be finished later. Then the pot is kept for drying in the shade for about half a day\\\'s period. This can take up to a month\\\'s time during the rainy season.

The bottom of the vessel, which is unfinished, is done with a wooden bat-shaped instrument and a smooth stone where the person holds the stone inside the vessel and pats the vessel with the wooden bat from outside until the opening at the bottom is gradually closed as clay is fused across at the bottom. The patting still continues until there is an even spread of clay and thickness throughout the pot. The shaped pot is then kept to dry for about a day before it is inserted into the kiln.

The right amount of dryness of clay is also a key factor in pottery. If the pots are not dried to the correct extent, pots could crack or break once they are put inside the kiln. The kiln is a small hut-like enclosure where there is a covering of clay and tree leaves up to three to four feet with an opening in front to insert firewood.

Once the pots are packed inside the kiln, the firing has to be done gradually. First the pots are smoked using coconut husks for about a day before the actual firing begins. The temperature of the kiln rises gradually as more and more firewood is inserted. The pots are left in the kiln for about half and hour before the fire is put out. The kiln is left to cool down followed by the breaking of the dome where pots are packed.

Eden Resort & Spa renewed with world-class 5 star luxuries

The famed 5-star luxury resort in Beruwala, Eden Resort & Spa, has re-opened its doors after briefly closing down operations for refurbishment in May earlier this year. The hotel has infused an exciting new range of enhanced features to its existing facilities, offering a truly global 5-star leisure experience.

Many of the hotel\'s key interior and exterior locations have been stylishly re-touched to resonate elegance and comfort. All rooms have been upgraded to Superior category, fully furnished with state-of-the-art equipment and fittings. All room furniture has been replenished with solid teak timber furnishings. The bed- head panel is the most decorative feature of this room category. The interior design of the rooms has been renewed to match the plush interior of the hotel, providing holidaymakers a unique touch of class and sophistication.

Similarly, elegantly designed and spacious Super Deluxe Rooms are furnished with a private outdoor terrace for weary travellers to relax and unwind. This is an ideal place for guests to enjoy their meals in the comfort of their own, exclusive environment.

The modern-day traveller\'s requirements too have been carefully looked at with a few new additions adorning all rooms – 42\" flat screen TV, Blu Ray player and library, a sophisticated media hub unit, and a bed- side touch panel system along with mini bar and tea/coffee-making facilities, hair dryer, IDD facilities and many more. The attached bathrooms too have been fully renovated using modern and stylish designs, enhancing the overall luxurious ambiance of rooms.

To provide a unique and contemporary dining experience, the newly refurbished main restaurant of the hotel speaks of class and sophistication by itself. This exclusive restaurant provides both indoor and outdoor dining facilities. Its latest add-on is the adjoining new timber-wood deck built on the edge of the hotel\\\'s swimming pool, providing that ideal dining spot for a romantic rendezvous. The new restaurant features two, built-in live-cooking stations, where guests will be given the option of having their dishes prepared instantly, to complement individual taste-buds. The adjoining new pool bar will offer facilities for guests to enjoy an assortment of food and beverages whilst having a refreshing dip in the renovated swimming pool.

Being attuned to the health and fitness requirements of modern travellers, Eden Resort & Spa has constructed a new, state-of-the-art gym with a brand new set of fitness equipment for its resident guests. The redesigned and landscaped garden of the hotel provides holiday-makers one of the best views of the sea-frontage whilst offering simple pleasures of relaxing and dozing under palm trees.

Ayubowan! Sri Lanka - 18th News Edition

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Let us present to you the 18th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • New Beginning for Laksala Under Divi Neguma Program
  • Eleven Day Vege Fever
  • Sri Lanka Celebrate National Aboriginal Day
  • Yala National Park to be Closed During Next Month
  • A Glimpse of Ancient Workmanship
  • The Kandy Perahera A Procession That Dates Back to 300 BC
  • The Kingsbury Old World Elegance with a Modern Touch

New Beginning for Laksala Under Divi Neguma Program
Laksala, the oldest and well known gift and souvenir boutique in Sri Lanka will opened its landmark store at the Colombo Museum premises to popularise and promote the Sri Lankan handicraft industry locally and globally. The state-of-the-art showroom 'National Museum Gallery Café' which is being constructed at a under the Divi Neguma social development scheme. One and a half acres of land has been designed in a manner that will preserve the outlook and heritage. Chief Guest Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa declared open the state of the art outlet in Colombo, positioned as the 'Laksala Museum Gallery Café'.

Over 30,000 items supplied from around the island are available in the store. These include products ranging from wood craft, brass ware, leather, ceramics, batiks, hand-looms and many more. The sales outlet also has a cultural display unit, a gem gallery and facilities such as a rest area, coffee shop and a restaurant for tourists.

Laksala intends to create opportunities for rural producers to enter mega markets, thereby enhancing the growth potential of the gift and souvenir category of Sri Lanka and adding value to the tourism sector. In working towards making Laksala a household name in Sri Lanka, the Laksala team plans to open a store in Galle Magalla tourist center and revamp the existing outlet in Kandy in the next couple of months. Laksala was inaugurated in 1964, by then Prime Minister, Sirima Bandaranaike. Its vision is to be the leader in the gift & souvenir category in the island. Today Laksala operates through 18 branches located island wide and offers the widest variety of Sri Lankan handicrafts and brands/items synonymous to Sri Lanka, to locals and mainly to tourists.

Eleven Day Vege Fever
The Galadari Hotel is going red hot with its 11-day Vege Fever promotion taking place from August 15 to 25 at the Flavors restaurant, the hotel’s popular Indian dining venue. The promotion which takes place during lunch and dinner times is every vegetarian's dream come true kind of menu offering. Not only this, everyone likes to go vegetarian once in a while. Also you can be assured that you will be indulging in an out-of-this-world kind of experience which will leave you gastronomically satisfied beyond your expectations.

Vege Fever offers an exclusive vegetarian menu with the most appealing choice of starters, soups, main courses and desserts to choose from. The starters include the most tempting offerings such as Pakora, Keera Wadai, Rajma Tiki and Aloo Bonda. The delicious soups range from Vegetable Shorba, Masala Wali Shorba and Pepper Rasam to much more. Come and experience different varieties of rice options such as Moti Pulao, Vegetable Biriyani and Tomato Rice. Also one can choose from a tempting range of breads including Aloo Paratha, Kabul Naan and Cheese Naan.

Main courses are equally delicious where many options will be offered ranging from Paneer Pasenda, Bharwan Tomato to Dhal Sultani and many more. So all vegetarian food lovers can experience 11 days of pure bliss at the Flavors.

Sri Lanka Celebrate National Aboriginal Day
The annual Aboriginal Day celebrations in Sri Lanka gives people of all walks of life the opportunity to celebrate and share knowledge about the Aboriginal peoples’ values, their unique heritage, customs, languages, and diverse cultures.

Along with all communities in the in Sri Lanka, Indigenous people also enjoy the benefits of the peace and modern development while securing their cultural identity, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said addressing this year's Aboriginal Day ceremony in Dehiattakandiya of Ampara District in Eastern Province. The President added that the indigenous communities are now living in peace and harmony since the government has liberated the country from the grip of terrorism. President Rajapaksa pointed out that it is government’s responsibility to protect the Sri Lanka’s Vedda community and look after their wellbeing.

Addressing the occasion, Wannila Aththo, requested the President to make necessary arrangements to confirm the identities of the aborigines who are living in many areas including Wakare, Jaffna and Batticaloa.

The aborigines known as Veddas mainly live in the North-East and South-East regions of Sri Lanka. year's ceremony was attended by various Aborigine groups spread throughout the country. The Chieftain of Sri Lanka's aborigine (Adhivaasi) Uruwarige Wannila Attho who visited the Temple Trees Monday extended the traditional invitation to the country's head, President Mahinda Rajapaksa to participate in this year's Aboridinal Day Ceremony.

Senior Minister P. Dayaratne, Ministers T.B.Ekanayake, Vijith Wijithamuni De Soyza, Govenour Eastern Province, Mohan Wijewickrama, MP Thenuka Widanagamage, local politicians and large number of officials were participated the ceremony.

Yala National Park to be Closed During Next Month

Tour Operators in Sri Lanka is Delux Tour Operator agent

Sri Lanka's best known nature reserve, Yala National Park will be closed for the visitors during the month of September, the Minister of Wildlife Resources Conservation Vijith Vijayamuni Soyza has said. During the month the park officials will renovate the visitors' bungalows. The park is normally closed for tourists during the dry season, from September 1 to October 15. According to the government, there are 62 sanctuaries, 22 wild life parks, three high conservation parks, and five natural conservation parks in the island and visitors' bungalows in all other parks have now been renovated to provide additional facilities to the visitors. Minister Soyza at a media briefing has also revealed details about a program initiated to teach foreign languages and to provide scientific knowledge about the animals to the guides in the sanctuaries and wildlife parks.

The government says the Yala and Horton Plains National Park in Nuwara Eliya bring the highest revenue to the Wildlife Department. However, Yala due to its vast extent needs a substantial amount of maintenance work.
Last year, the Yala National Park earned revenues of Rs. 30 million and the Park also recorded the highest revenue of Rs. 2.5 million on a single day earlier this year on February 13th.

A Glimpse of Ancient Workmanship
Galmaduwa Viharaya enjoys the unique distinction of being the most Hindu-looking Buddhist temple in existence. Traditionally when one talks of a temple he would imagine it to have the typical stand out icons of a Sri Lankan temple such as the Dagoba, Bodhiya and Vihara Geya or image house. On a by road off Kandy-Kundasle main road is an extraordinary building that depicts the exact opposite of a typically found temple.

Appropriately named 'Galmaduwa', it is a testament to the technologies and workmanship used at that time to build such monuments in Sri Lanka.It is said that Keerthi Sri Rajasingha (1747-1781 AD) during his reign as King had started on the project of building this monument.

During construction the king heard of another place called Degaldowruwa where a cave had been discovered and took his construction party there to start building on the cave. Why this sudden change of heart came to be is a story hidden from us; the abandoned building is said to have never been used as a temple initially.The building itself is of two parts. One is the pavilion and the second is the tower at the top.

The construction style of Galmaduwa evidently imitates the Tamil Hindu style temple structures. Thus it can be assumed that it was built as a Gedige, and is often referred to as a Gedige. The lower story of the temple is set on a platform, a few feet raised from the ground. With staircases to enter at either side of the building, it is rather bare without any decorative motifs. Each side of the square is 60 feet in length and there is an inner sanctum at the center. With a Buddha statue inside the sanctum, it is also without much decorative features as can usually be expected in most temples of this nature. All around the inner sanctum is a passage about 14 feet in width, open to the outside by many arches. The thickness of the outer wall is about 3.5 feet. Had it been completed one can only fancy what it would have looked like, with all the attention paid to the sheer size of the entire building. This lower story is completely done with the use of stones and the Department of Archeology has done some wonderful work in restoring it to its original state.

The second part, which is the tower at the top, is made of stone and brick. Built in order of diminishing stages, the tower is a symbolic replica of 'Vimana', it is said. In Tamil Hindu terms a tower of this nature is usually called 'Gopura'. Very much a feature of the Gedige style the tower today can be seen glowing in white standing up on the stone pavilion. According to J.P Lewis 'Galmaduwa Viharaya probably enjoys the unique distinction of being the most Hindu-looking Buddhist temple in existence'. He further admires the semicircular cusped arches with key stones, features that adds to the uniqueness of Galmaduwa.

Towards the back of the building right down the steps is an image house. Though it looks very small compared to Galmaduwa itself, the image house consists of many images of Buddha and his followers. With artistic features employed to decorate portraying the typical style found during the Kandyan era, the image house stands as an example of how Buddhists paid homage to even an abandoned monument that could have been a magnificent structure dedicated to Buddha and Buddhism. This small Vihara or image house built approximately 125 years ago stands without much change today and is worshipped by all who visits the temple.

Discoveries made by the Department of Archeology suggests that the location where Galmaduwa is of more historical value than previously thought. The discovery of some bricks with writings on them speaks of a Dagoba at the site where the Galmaduwa is. With letters in Brahmi characters the dates seem to go back to early Christian era. So it was already a site with much significance and reverence than what was presumed earlier. Today Galmaduwa Raja Maha Viharaya is the name used to identify this place of worship. It is a pity to see that one of the most unique as well as a very important chapter in history not complete. However, had not King Keerthi Sri Rajasingha made a decision to abandon this construction, there may not even be a Degaldoruwa Temple today.

The Kandy Perahera A Procession That Dates Back to 300 BC
Beating of to dancing men wirling as if mesmerised, dignified chieftains walking sedately, caparisoned elephants festooned with electric lights, baskets of blazing coconut copra held aloft and milling crowds: this is the Kandy Esala Perahera. It parades the streets of the Hill Capital to coincide with the seventh / eighth full moon poya day (monthly Buddhist religious day) of the year. Famous the world over as one of the most spectacular processions ever, it is a mix of culture, religion, historical tradition and of course a vast show, albeit imbued with dignity and splendour. The Perahera has its antecedents in the distant Third Century BC. The procession of today holds an unbroken record of annually parading the streets since receiving royal patronage from the Kandyan King, Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe.

The religious significance is that originally it afforded an opportunity to the common man to pay homage to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha, which was in the possession of the king. At present the tooth relic is not paraded only a golden casket is carried by the most majestic tusker - the Maligawa Etha. Additionally a Hindu element was introduced by the later kings of the Kandyan Kingdom who were of South Indian origin. Three Hindu devales have their own processions, which join the Temple Perahera as propitiation to the gods, asking them for rain and a disease-free year. Kandy Esala Perahera is also known as the month of the festival, which is celebrated grandly among many local Buddhist and also foreign tourists; this glittering event is being celebrated over 236 years every with Esala full moon Poya day. Kandy Esala Perahera is done to honourr the Sacred Tooth Relic which is kept in the Sri Dalada Maligawa.

There are thousands of tourists who come down just to experience this colorful event it has won many hearts of the tourists. Kandy Esala Perahera Pageant Procession is believed to be a fusion of two separate but interconnected Perahera's (Processions) - The Esala and Dalada. It is very grand with elegant costumes. Happening in July or August in Kandy, it has become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. The Esala Perahera which is thought to date back to the 3rd century BC, was a ritual enacted to request the gods for rainfall. The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th Century AD. The Tooth Relic was taken in procession to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala & Prince Dantha. It is a Buddhist festival consisting of dances and nicely decorated Elephants. There are fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandian dances and various other cultural dances. The elephants are usually adorned with lavish garments.

The Kandy Esala Perahera begins with the Kap Situveema or Kappa, in which a sanctified young Jackfruit tree is cut and planted in the premises of each of the four Devales dedicated to the four guardian gods Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama and the goddess Pattini. Traditionally it was meant to shower blessing on the King and the people. 'Kapsituvima' is the installation of the Esala Perahera, this is a ritual coming down from the traditions.

The Relic Casket, which is a substitute for the Tooth Relic, is placed inside the Ransivige affixed to the Maligawa Elephant the Maligawa Perahera joins the awaiting Devale Peraheras and leads the procession. Whip-crackers and fireball acrobats clear the path, followed by the Buddhist flag bearers. Then, riding on the first elephant, is the official called Peramuna Rala. He is followed by Kandyan Drummers and Dancers who enthrall the crowd, and are themselves followed by elephants and other groups of musicians, dancers and flag bearers.

The Kingsbury Old World Elegance with a Modern Touch
Elegance, sophistication and luxury, merged into one will present any guest with a stay evocative of the old English charm in the midst of Colombo. This is The Kingsbury Hotel, where a grand white edifice with manicured lawns and water features welcome guests carrying them to a world apart from the hustle and bustle that surrounds the locale.

White floors and walls decked in dark hues and comfy yet graceful high backed chairs, in the grand lobby area, beckon guests to sink in and take in the tasteful atmosphere of the Hotel before being escorted to their respective rooms. Passing through the grand lobby area, red chairs with black table tops allow visitors to lounge in The Kings Lobby Bar, where one could enjoy a variety of activities from eating to listening to music, to just relaxing. For any who relish pastries, cakes and little tit bits along with other unique creations, Gourmet Station across The Kings would be the ideal place. Here, munching on the delicious items on offer, especially at High Tea available every evening, guests have the opportunity to delight in the beautiful view of the Indian Ocean where waves roll in a seamless pattern.

The first floor of The Kingsbury is also home to several restaurants, namely the Harbour Court, The Ocean and Yue Chuan, that delivers a diverse selection of cuisines from around the world. Harbour Court, a rapture of interntional cuisines is open all day, catering a variety of mouthwatering dishes from Western countires, India, Southeast Asia as well as Japan while the Sunday Oyster Brunch will delight the tastebuds of all. The Ocean provide delicious platters of seafood while Yue Chuan with its refined atmosphere yields a delectable contemporary Chinese dining experience prepared by skilled chefs from China.

The Hotel is equipped with 229 rooms, from which 207 are Luxurious rooms and 21 are Lavish Suites while the Presidential Suite is committed towards more affluent guests. The Luxurious Rooms are further divided as Deluxe, Executive, Premium and Superior rooms. Adorned with arresting features, the rooms come with a full range of luxury amenities, which includes products such as Bvlgari, to assure that guests will bask in the ultimate comfort that The Kingsbury could provide. Further the Infinity-Edge Pool, arrayed with a unique horse shoe designed jaccuzi, creates an illusionary effect of being part of the blue ocean as it extends towards the sea. The pool offers a perfect getaway for guests to take a dip or to relax, taking pleasure in the soothing sea breeze that swirls by.

Ayubowan! Sri Lanka - 17th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 17th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • 2013 Hotel Show at BMICH
  • Unawatuna Beach, Arugam Bay Ranked Among World's Best
  • Trincomalee To Be Developed As A Metro City
  • Rs. 600 Million Allocated For The Second Stage Of Sri Lanka's Second Zoo
  • New Stamps on National Parks
  • Experience Your Next Golf Vacation With Srilankan Holidays
  • Event Calendar – August 2013
  • Jetwing Yala - The Jungle Book Brought To Life

2013 Hotel Show at BMICH

Hotel Show 2013, Sri Lankas premier hospitality service exhibition concluded last week at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre Hall brining in all facets and factors of the hospitality industry under one single roof. Over the years the mega Hotel Suppliers & Services extravaganza has continuously thrived to ensure the objective of being the only platform under which every industry related to the wide array of the hospitality industry is brought together under one roof.

The Mega exhibition the only one of its kind is considered the most comprehensive and focused exhibition that takes place biannually within the island catering specifically to meet all products and services that are a part and parcel of Sri Lankas booming hospitality industry. Trevine Gomez, Chairman of the organizing committee of Hotel Show 2013 said the stage has been set to ensure a fully-fledged hoteling experience for all visitors and exhibitors.

“This is the most focused and most comprehensive exhibition that is held within the entire South Asian region catering to almost every micro industry that falls within the gamut of the hospitality industry within the country. Therefore this Hotel Show will be on par with world class standards giving a novel experience to each and every participant,”-he said. The event, organized by Premium exhibition and event organizer Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services ensured that all visitors were given a novel experience related to the hospitality industry.

“This is the only event of this kind held in Sri Lanka and we have taken all measures to ensure that every visitor is provided a novel and unique experience. The hospitality industry in Sri Lanka is booming and we have to ensure that our products and services are on world class standards in order to attract tourists”. Therefore the exhibition comprised maximum participation from all areas and sectors related to the industry under one single roof, Imran Hassen Director of LEC said. Hotel Show 2013, organised by the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA) in partnership with Presidential award winning exhibition organizer, Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services was an event not to be missed. The exhibition was endorsed by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and the Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organizers (SLAPCEO) while Lanka Loha, Promo Lanka Marketing and Sperrys commercial Equipment have stepped forward to support this exhibition as a Gold Sponsor and Celcious Solutions has supported the exhibition as the Silver Sponsor.

Unawatuna Beach, Arugam Bay Ranked Among World’s Best
A survey carried out by the CNN on world’s best beaches, Unawatuna has been ranked in the 79th position among the 100 best beaches in the world. The CNN describes Sri Lanka as a country of splendid beaches. Describing about the Unawatuna Beach, the CNN survey report says that “It can't be easy being a standout beach in a country of awesome beaches, but Unawatuna does it”. Hanging off the southern tip of Sri Lanka, it stretches for more than a mile, and is marked by palm trees, thatch huts and a languid pace. Meanwhile, in another survey carried out by the CNN on the “Best Surfing Spots” in the World Arugam Bay has been ranked as the 46th best surfing spot among the best 50 surfing spots in the world. In the description given by the Survey about the Arugam Bay says it is not just a great surf spot with a right-hand peak, surfers here share the beach with wild monkeys and elephants that graze in the forest nearby. Join with the Best Travel Agents Sri Lanka and arrange your trip to surfing and adventure. Our Tour Operators would be reliable, for every slight detail about your tour.

Trincomalee To Be Developed As A Metro City

vising Trincomalee Sri Lanka in a holiday vacation you will be extremely incredible with this extraordinary travel experience. Make sure that you accompany the correct tour operator service that will provide the supreme travel tour packages and the best travel tour guide who will make your holiday in Sri Lanka memorable and inspirable. This tour company is ideal for spending eco, adventure holidays with fabulous foreign package.

Trincomalee has been identified to be developed as a Metro City in the Eastern Region and the construction of an Outer Circular Road to the city of Trincomalee is considered essential to provide proper accessibility from various directions. The Ministry of Ports and Highways has decided to handover the construction of Trincomalee Outer Circular Road which extends to 47 km covering Nilaweli, Thampalakakam and Sampur areas to a Chinese company.

Accordingly, the contract amounting to Rs 34 billion has been handed over to the Hulian Road & Bridge Corporation of the Chinese government. The road will be constructed with the intention of gaining better access to coal power plant in Sampur, wheat flour factory, cement factory and fuel tanks in Trincomalee, mineral sand industry in Pulmudai. Preliminary work of the project is to be commenced on a priority basis with funds allocated for the year 2013 and the balance will be provided under the Medium Term Budgetary Framework 2014 - 2016.

Rs. 600 Million Allocated For The Second Stage Of Sri Lanka's Second Zoo

The Sri Lankan government has allocated Rs. 600 million for the second stage of the building of a new zoo in Pinnawala, Kegalle district secretary Thusitha P. Wanigasinghe said. The first stage of the Pinnawala zoo is now being constructed at a cost of Rs. 577 million in a 48-acre land adjacent to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle district. The internal roads, food stores and the animal sections are now being built under the first stage.

The official said over 95% of the first stage of the construction is now over. While the first stage of the Pinnawala zoo will comprise only animals, birds and other fauna endemic to Sri Lanka, the second phase of the project will be constructed to house foreign species. The zoo will have a special open section displaying the free-roaming Sri Lankan leopard. The government says a second zoo adjacent to the world famous tourist hot spot Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage will boost tourism and provide direct and indirect employment to a large number of the people in the area. The complete zoo built with modern facilities will cover 100 acres of land.

New Stamps On National Parks

The Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) in coordination with the Philatelic Bureau issued a new stamp series on national parks of Sri Lanka to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the declaration of protected areas. The series is made up of six stamps to the value of Rs 5, 15, 25, 30, 40 and 50 and three colorful souvenir sheets. The protected areas of the country were first declared in 1938. There are various types of National Protected Areas in the country including strict nature reserves, national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries and marine reserves.

Lanka has three nature reserves, 22 national parks and 63 sanctuaries. The protected areas cover about 14 percent of the total land of the country. This is a higher percentage compared with other countries. The protected areas are important to nourish and protect water resources and catchment areas, wildlife, plants and cultural heritage of the country. It is of great advantage to promote tourism and hydro power generation in the country.

The six stamps depict Hawks-bill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate), Swamp Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), Elephant (Elephas maximus) - the largest land animal in the Asian continent, Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiatucus) - the tallest bird in Sri Lanka (over five feet in height), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) and Spotted Deer (Axis axis) - the most common mammal in the dry and semi arid forest in the country.

Experience Your Next Golf Vacation With Srilankan Holidays

The professional, casual and the dreaming-to-be golfers will all have their holiday dreams come true when SriLankan Holidays, the leisure arm of SriLankan Airlines flies them to the Asia’s finest golf courses in Bangkok, Jakarta, Dubai and Kulala-Lumpur.

Dubai, the quintessential metropolitan that never sleeps, is also home for some of the best golf courses in the Middle East. Crisscrossed with iconic club houses and lush green golf courses, the city that is frequented by the famed names of the game, gives more reasons for the travelers to stop by. For those who are bound eastward, Bangkok would be the first heart-stopper. Loosely dubbed as the shopper’s paradise, Bangkok holds beyond its colorful stores and nightlife, a considerable significance in the global golf arena. The city offers an array of excellent clubhouse amenities and challenging and breath-taking scenic courses which turn it into a sanctuary for the golfers. Jakarta, on the other hand, has three major golf regions within an easy distance from the centre of the city. With an array of more than 35 golf courses to choose from, the Indonesian Capital is one of the places in the south East Asia, a golfer would love to lose himself in.

Also in the line-up is Kuala-Lumpur, the city where modernity blends in with artistry, culture and history. It has a variety of uniquely challenging golf courses spread across the terrain which can inspire any golfer to go for the much awaited hole-in-one. Manager SriLankan Holidays Gayan Peiris said:“We offer our customers the finest recreational packages where they are given the opportunity to enjoy their holiday while relaxing and engaging in leisure activities at their choice. Golf is one such game that occupies and relaxes one at the same time. Besides, there is a culture that revolves around the game that anyone may find fascinating. We at SriLankan Holidays take pride in providing our customers tailor-made travel solutions to suit their purse and needs.” The package includes return airfare, hotel accommodation with breakfast, entrance fee for the golf courses and return transfers from/to airport and golf courses. The number of nights can be extended on passenger’s request. It also gives an exciting opportunity for the travelers to earn FlySmiLes miles.

Event Calendar – August 2013

  • August 5 : St Anne's Church Feast - Thalawila
  • August 7-21 : Kataragama Festival
  • August 8-21 : Esala Perahera - Kandy
  • August 9 : ID-UL-FITR
  • August 12 : Nallur Kanthan Festival
  • August 13-14 : SEARCC Conference 2013
  • August 15-18 : Shilpa 2013
  • August 15 : Festival of our lady of Madu
  • August 20 : Nikini Perahera
  • August 24-25 : Gajaba Super Cross
  • August 29-sep 01: The Facets Show
  • August 30-Sep 01 : Colombo Motor Show

Jetwing Yala - The Jungle Book Brought to Life

Once again Jetwing Hotels combines amazing luxury with awe-inspiring wildlife in their latest creation of Jetwing Yala. Another link in the family of Jetwing properties, Jetwing Yala is one of the newest ventures of Sri Lanka’s premier hospitality brand which is opening its doors in the untamed and fascinating world of Sri Lanka’s most well known animal kingdom. The sheer biodiversity of the Yala National Park with its elephants, peacocks, leopards and crocodiles is best summed up in the words of the Lonely Planet, which refers to it as “The Jungle Book brought to glorious life “.

It is amidst this rich tapestry of flora and fauna that Jetwing Yala has emerged, an ideal destination for those who want to leave behind the hectic pace of everyday life and indulge in the unspoiled natural beauty of the wilds. The BBC named the Yala National Park one of the best wildlife destinations in Asia and they had many good reasons for doing so. It is home to a diverse number of species and a range of ecosystems. Yala has around 32 mammal species, a number of reptile and lagoon fauna species as well as over 230 resident, migrant and endemic bird species. It is considered one of the best places in the world to see leopards due to it having one of the highest leopard concentrations in the world.

Thus it is without doubt that Jetwing Yala is set to become the natural choice of residence for wildlife enthusiasts and safari holidaymakers as it seamlessly blends in with its surroundings. Located just outside the vicinity of the Yala National Park, the hotel has been built along the concept of it being one with nature. Nothing of the surrounding environment amidst which it has been built will be destroyed or vandalized as Jetwing Yala seeks to exist in harmony with its natural surroundings. This beautiful and elegant hotel will feature 80 rooms and 18 luxury tents for those who yearn for the wild outdoors. Each room will either have a balcony or a terrace which will give guests a wonderful look-out point onto the wilds of Yala when they awake and when they go to sleep.

The rooms are decorated in earthy muted tones with a splash of red and green to accentuate the colors of the wild and no expense has been spared in ensuring that guests experience the ultimate in comfort which is why rooms come fully equipped with hot and cold water, WiFi, Satellite TV and a mini-bar to make it a home away from home. Jetwing Yala will also serve up some of Sri Lanka’s most delicious cuisine while not forgetting the culinary influences of the rest of the Asian continent. Dining will be a delight as it can range from tree-house dining to alfresco dining to even dune dining. After the thrill of a safari or perhaps a week of safaris guests can swim, play tennis or badminton or try out some yoga in order to enjoy some of the other services on offer at the hotel. In essence it is the aim of Jetwing Yala to reconnect man with nature and viceversa, for in the words of the famous poet Ralph Waldo Emerson “In the woods, we return to reason and faith”.

Ayubowan ! Sri Lanka - 16th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 16th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • Mega Tourism Caravan "Days of Sri Lanka in Russia" 3 – 16 July, 2013
  • Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up by 12.8 percent in June
  • Northern expressway work to begin next year
  • Construction of 210 bridges launched
  • Sri Lanka to replace foreign forest cultivations with local species
  • Ratnapura A Treasure Trove Of Adventures
  • At Heaven's Doorstep

Mega Tourism Caravan “Days Of Sri Lanka In Russia”, 3 – 16 July, 2013
Tour operators in Sri Lanka have open their paths to attracts tourists to Sri Lanka to spend a holiday Sri Lanka

Continuing the Tourism Promotional Campaign in CIS countries, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation with the collaboration of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau successfully completed the second phase of the tourism promotion campaign in the Russian Federation from 3 to 17 July 2013. This time the campaign commenced from the capital of Russia, Moscow, and took its journey through four other major cities of the Russian Federation; Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ufa and Yekaterinburg covering a distance of almost 4000 kilo meters on wheels befitting the name “Mega Tourism Caravan”.

The long journey and the promotional campaign of almost two weeks was conducted with the aim of popularizing of Sri Lanka in Russia, strengthening of cultural and business cooperation, enhancement of mutual understanding between two nations and most importantly promoting Sri Lanka Tourism. At each city there were Shopping Mall Activations which included Ayurweda Spa Treatments, Demonstration on Preparation of Traditional Handy Crafts, Performance by the Dancing Troupe, Distribution of Promotional Material and Liquid Tea Service. Further, in all cities Cultural Shows, Workshop for Tour Operators, Press Conferences and Photo Exhibitions were conducted to promote Sri Lankan Tourism. The opening event of the campaign was the grand cultural show and reception held for the diplomatic corps, leading travel and tour operators, media personnel, tea industrialists and Sri Lanka Diaspora, at the Hotel Lotte Plaza, Moscow.

Befitting the theme of the campaign “Days of Sri Lanka in Russia”, this unique opportunity allowed both general public and tour operators of Russia to learn better of the rich culture, scenic beauty, pristine beaches, traditional dancing, exotic flora and fauna , gorgeous cultural festivals and many more of the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” .This time also the main collaborator of the campaign was the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau under the patronage of Mr. Bashwara Goonarathna, Chairman of the SLTPB. Other major participants were Siddhalepa, Laksala and Sri Lankan Airlines. Nkar Travel and Tours, Bernard Travel and Tours, Connaissance Tours and Deluxe Holidays were the other participants of the campaign. Cultural troupe led by Maestro Chandana Wickramasinge conducted cultural shows at each city and also performed during shopping mall activations.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation, under the assiduous and untiring leadership and guidance of His Excellency Udayanga Weeratunga was the main organizer of this “Mega Tourism Caravan”.

We will make you to be blissful during your holiday in Sri Lanka by providing amazing tour packages and excellent travel tour guide.

Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals Up By 12.8 Percent In June

Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 12.8 percent in June this year compared to the same period last year, the data released Tuesday (July 16) by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. The month recorded 73,628 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 65,245 arrived in May 2012. Tourist arrivals recorded a 13.1 percent increase in the first half of this year with 512,281 tourists arriving in the island.

Overall arrivals from North America rose 11.7 percent to 30,563 this year. Arrivals from the US rose 26.0 percent during the first six months of 2013 while arrivals from Canada marginally declined 1.7 percent. Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 196,355 during the first six months rising 13.8 percent from the 172,602 tourists arrived in the same period last year. Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 21.0 percent with the arrival of 37,697 tourists while tourist arrivals from Middle East rose by 1.6 percent. The first six months of 2013 recorded 69,310 East Asians as arriving in the island, an increase of 22.7% while arrivals from China increased 72.3%.

Northern Expressway Work to Begin Next Year

Construction work of the northern Expressway starting from Enderamulla in the Gampaha district and ending in Dambulla will start early next year, Highways Ministry Secretary and Road Development Authority (RDA) Chairman R.W.R. Premasiri said yesterday.

He said the first phase of the project — from Enderamulla to Ambepussa — is expected to cost US$ 1 billion (Rs. 130 billion) and would be completed with Chinese assistance. The project to be handled by the Chinese on a Build-Operate-and-Transfer basis also includes a separate expressway extending from the Ambepussa interchange to Kandy. “One of the main aims of this project is to provide the necessary infrastructure to develop the tourist industry in the country while providing a better transport network,” Mr. Premasiri said. He said preliminary work such as identifying the road corridor and finalizing the road alignment with tentative acquisition boundaries had been completed. The proposed Enderamulla-Ambepussa stretch of the expressway will be constructed in most part parallel to the railway line, paddy, marshy and uncultivated areas. Only a few populated areas would be affected by the project. The expressway to Ambepussa will go through Horape, Ragama, Walpola, Batuwatte, Bulugahagoda, Ganemulla, Yagoda, Gampaha, Daraluwa, Bemmulla, Magalegoda, Heendeniya, Veyangoda, Wadurawa, Keenawala, Pallewela, Ganegoda, Mirigama and Bothale. The 52.8 km Enderamulla-Ambespussa stretch will have five interchanges, 50 overpasses and 30 underpasses.

The second phase of the project envisages the extension of the expressway up to Pallendeniya in Kurunegala. It will pass through Boyawalane, Pothupitiya, Dampalassa, Ganegoda and Dehikumbura before ending in PelleSndeniya, about five kilometers from the Kurunegala town. The second phase will cover a distance of 39 km with three interchanges at Pothupitiya, Dampalassa and Pallendeniya. There will be 30 overpasses and five underpasses. The third phase of the project will be the construction of the 45.7 km motorway from Ambepussa to Kandy. This road will have interchanges at Rambukkana and Hedeniya and will pass through Devalegama, Pinnawala, Rambukkana, Hatharaliyadda, Hedeniya. A significant feature of his expressway is the construction of a one km long tunnel.

In addition, a 12 km ring road will be constructed between Gannoruwa and Katugastota to reduce traffic congestion in the Kandy city. The final stage of the project will take the expressway from Pallendeniya to Dambulla covering a distance of 62 km. There will be three interchanges at Pellandeniya, Galewela and Dambulla. This stretch of the expressway will pass through Wallawa, Gokarella, Melsiripura, Omaragolla and Galewela, before reaching Dambulla.

Construction of 210 Bridges Launched

The programme of constructing 210 new bridges to link villages with towns island-wide has been launched. The Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa said that these bridges would strengthen the plantation and agro-economies and give greater impetus to the Maga Neguma-to-Gama Neguma programme which has already raised the productivity level and quality of life of villagers.

Ceremonies relating to launching of this construction programme were held at Rattota, Laggala, Ambagahakorale and Yatawatte, Matale. The Minister inaugurated the construction work of new bridges at the villages of Pahala Hapuwida, Epitamulla, Loluwela and Kutapola Yaaya.

Speaking at the function the Minister said that the rural bridge building projects were part of the President’s programme for rapid development of villages in which 75% of the population of the country lives. He said that the new bridges would help rural people to overcome the immense difficulties they face, especially during inclement weather conditions and that the constructions would be able to withstand natural disasters.

These bridges are being constructed by the well known ‘Cleveland Bridge’ company of UK. The bridges vary in length from six metres to 30 metres increments of two metres. All constructions are expected to be completed by 2015.

Sri Lanka to Replace Foreign Forest Cultivations With Local Species

Sri Lanka\'s Central Provincial Council Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Environment Nimal Piyatissa said steps will be taken to remove the forest cultivations of foreign tree species from the vulnerable land of the central hills. Accordingly, the forest cultivations of 40,000 acres in Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya districts will be removed and replaced with local forest crops.

The imported tree species like eucalyptus, pines, turpentine etc. that were grown here for timber and fuel have affected the natural environment, bio diversity and water resources in these areas. The government plans to replace these varieties with local commercial forest crops.

Ratnapura A Treasure Trove Of Adventures

Ratnapura is famous for mainly three things. They are gems, the Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) and the Saparagamu Maha Saman Dewalaya. Ancient tales and volumes chronicling Lord Buddha’s visits to Sri Lanka tells of Sumana, a provincial ruler of the Deva clan, who was a devout follower of Lord Buddha and His teachings. It is said that after Lord Sumana’s demise he was elevated to the prominence of a god and is considered to be the guardian deity of Sri Pada and the Sabaragamuwa Province.

Ratnapura with many mountainous terrains is renowned for the captivating waterfalls such as Bopath Ella, Alupola Ella, Dehena Ella and more. After learning that Dehena Ella is the seventh widest waterfall in Sri Lanka, one can go in search of its beauty, first treading the historic Ratnapura-Palabaddala road to Adam’s Peak before diverting towards Alupolla.

Sprawling tea estates and green foliage flagged the sides of the narrow road and rain can be your constant companion along the winding climb. Reaching the Dehena Ella you will be entranced by its splendour, pouring forth readily sprinkling its cooling droplets in all directions. As you watch the water seemed to swell and the width of the fall seemed to expand with the rainfall and it was clear that during rainy weather venturing into the waters for a cool dip would be unwise. Even then, just enjoying the beauty that flows through is enough to make the trail up to the falls a worthwhile journey.

Ratnapura District is filled with many interesting things to explore. Sneak-a-peek into a gem mine to experience gem mining up close and step into a gem museum to discover the wonders of the gem world. For those who are interested in trekking, Ratnapura offers alluring as well as exciting nature trails while Sinharaja is also located in close proximity for nature lovers. Whitewater rafting in the Kelani River, safaris to the Udawalawe sanctuary and much more could further be easily accessed for the thrill seekers to get that extra bit of adrenaline pumping. To top it all, the Ehelepola Walawwa, a residence of the Ehelepola Nilame of the Kandyan Kingdom now turned into a museum, will without a doubt fascinate those who wonder in, by the past artifacts unearthed from the area. For those who seek adventure, leisure time or sightseeing, steeped in history with many ancient temples and places scattered around the District, Ratnapura holds a myriad of activities that would take days and days to tire of.

At Heaven’s Doorstep

Plantation Hotel is come upon on the wayside of the 18 bus route, a short driveway leading up to a bungalow structure, with an air of cosines. The dim pastel illumination brings to life age-old intricacies from a time gone by. The very air is thick with history and is a fitting accompaniment to the interior decor, which consists of many authentic heirlooms. The portraits on the walls and the teak finish chests all bear witness to the rich heritage held within the walls of the Hotel, truly a befitting reception to a haven of old world splendor.

If the simplicity of the lounge and the lower level dining area doesn’t enthrall you, the Kelani River flowing freely mere meters from the seating arrangements is bound to cast a hypnotic chant on anyone.

The corridor, encased with simple white walls and a stony floor, lead to the vast remainder of the property. The Porsche tractor that stands majestically midway in the corridor is only a preview of what the Hotel houses within its car museum. A glass doored compound within the property holds many vintage cars, each possessing a rich and vivid history. The black Volkswagen Karmann Ghia alongside three proud Rolls-Royce models make up less than half of a truly impressive collection.

Should you find it in your heart to tear your eyes and heart from the humbling predecessors of all present day luxury automobiles, a turn in the central corridor leads to the lofty lounge area, complete with a simple, rustic bar. The dining area, lounge and a reception hall are all placed at three levels in respective order of altitude.

At the foot of the restaurant is a conveniently placed smooth rock adjoining the river and bathing around this part of the river is also an option. The accommodation is complete with eight deluxe rooms and three super deluxe rooms, all of which carry forward the minimalistic design of the property with combinations of timber and cement. A merger of nature and soul, the Plantation Hotel is a space dedicated to peace of mind and soulful indulgence.

Cinnamon Air commences scheduled operations from 26th June 2013

Welcome to Cinnamon Air

We are Sri Lanka's premier domestic aviation company operating scheduled flights from Colombo's Bandaranayake International Airport to key tourist destinations in the island. Our highly trained crew and ground handling staff will ensure that you discover a whole new level of service in domestic air travel with exceptional passenger care. Our fleet of Cessna aircraft will ensure that you reach your destination with ease and comfort with the most picturesque views of this tropical island paradise.

Why Cinnamon Air

While Sri Lanka is a relatively small island, its climatic and geographic diversity makes land travel time consuming. Passengers arriving after long hours of flying can experience more than just an airport transfer. With Cinnamon Air you could reach any part of the country in less than 60 Minutes – pampered with high quality service and with the most breath-taking view of this beautiful island nation.

Charter Flights – Cinnamon Air will also offer charter services to individuals and groups to all airports and approved water aerodromes in the country.

A Domestic Airline offering daily scheduled flights from Bandaranayake International Airport to Sri Lanka's most picturesque locations.

Ayubowan ! Sri Lanka - 13th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 13th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • SriLankan Airlines to Expand Operations to Russia
  • Yacht, Shipbuilding Facility in Galle
  • AC Trains on All Tracks Soon
  • Sky Lounge Shifting the Paradigms of Entertainment
  • The Manhattan Fish Market Now In Sri Lanka
  • Theme Museum Coming up in Akuressa
  • Round and About Kalpitiya
  • Mongoose Adventures Assists in Removal of Underwater Debris
  • Nilaveli Beach Hotel Wins Trip Advisor Accolade

SriLankan Airlines to Expand Operations to Russia
SriLankan Airlines will expand its operations in Central Asia by increasing the frequency of flights to Moscow, Russia. The airline will replace the current one-stop flight via Dubai from Colombo to Moscow Domodedovo Airport by a nonstop service from October 29, 2013. Also the carrier will operate the three flights a week with an Airbus A330-200, instead of current twice a week service on an Airbus A 320. The airline from October 27, 2013 will trim the Colombo - Dubai service from 9 weekly flights to daily flights. However four of the seven daily flights will be on a wide-bodied Airbus A330-200 instead of an A320. SriLankan operates a fleet of 22 aircraft - including six wide-bodied A340 and seven A330 aircraft, eight mid-range A320s and one De Havilland Twin Otter floatplanes for domestic operations. The airline services a global route network of 64 destinations in 34 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, North America, Australia and Africa. This will be advantageous for the travel companies and tour operators in Sri Lanka which would lead more and more tourists to the country so that they can arrange fascinating travel excursions packaged in wondrous travel and tour packages to attract those tourists to the country motivating them to visit Sri Lanka again in vacation.

Yacht, Shipbuilding Facility in Galle
As a first step towards making the Galle Harbour the first tourist harbour in the region, an agreement was signed for the establishment of a yacht/leisure craft repair /shipbuilding facility at the Port of Galle. The facility will be constructed with an estimated cost of US$ 44 million within 24 months. Hadi Hamam Group of Saudi Arabia is the investor of the project while Sea Gulf Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd (Sri Lanka) is the project proponent. The ultimate objectives of the project are the design and construction of a syncrolift of 1,500 ton capacity to accommodate yachts and other pleasure craft and positioning a floating dock of 4,500 ton capacity on a temporary basis subject to 'Barge Fomentera' being removed from the Colsenburg Quay. A warehouse will be leased for the working space and workshop. The land area in this regard is to be leased for 30 years, in line with the Land Alienation Policy of the SLPA. The SLPA will get the land lease payments, charges and royalty payments as an income to the port. A repair facility of yachts has been vital to promote the yacht marina in the Galle Port. The establishment of a shipyard at the port will provide a number of direct and indirect employment opportunities for welders, fitters, carpenters, painters and other workers. The repair facility in Galle will also attract a large number of vessels from Maldives, creating new business opportunities for Sri Lanka. Attracting direct foreign investments from Middle Eastern countries will also encourage other investors to consider further investment in Sri Lanka.

AC Trains on All Tracks Soon
Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said plans are afoot to introduce fully air-conditioned express trains on all rail tracks across the country following the huge passenger demand for the recently introduced Colombo-Kandy air-conditioned express train. Though Sri Lanka Railways had earlier planned to operate the Colombo-Kandy air-conditioned express train for only four days - Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday - it has now decided to ply this on a daily basis due to the huge passenger demand following its maiden journey last week, Minister Welgama said. According to the schedule, the train starts from Kandy at 5.50 am and reaches Fort Station at 8.30 am. It will commence it’s return journey at 5.20 pm from Colombo and reach Kandy at 8.03 pm. The train stops only at Ragama, Gampaha, Peradeniya Junction and Kandy. The train will have 10 first class compartments which will include 44 seats. A one way ticket costs Rs. 500, he added. Reservations can be made by dialing 365 through Mobitel phones or at the respective stations. Minister Welgama further said this is the first time a fully air-conditioned train was launched by Sri Lanka Railways. \'We expect this service to be a boon to the country’s tourism industry,\' he said. Transportation among the country will be comfortable and convenient to Locals and tourists benefiting travel agenciesand tour operators in Sri Lanka as well as increasing tours to Sri Lanka.

Sky Lounge Shifting the Paradigms of Entertainment
Sky Lounge, an epicenter of Colombo’s nightlife is fittingly located on the rooftop of the Kingsbury and is complete with an alluring ambience designed to captivate its diverse clientele. Best described as a hybrid of a club and bar, the Sky Lounge offers an eclectic mix of cocktails and cuisine to tantalise your tastebuds. International house music by a variety of local and international artists are on offer at the Sky Lounge, Monday through Saturday, while Sundays are dedicated to bluesy jazz music. Open daily, the Sky Lounge creates a paradigm shift in corporate entertainment for its valued patrons. Travel operators make use of these enjoyable happenings to attract tourists to Sri Lanka. A holiday Sri Lanka travel would be amazingly surprising and extremely relaxing. Organize a Tour to Sri Lanka on your vacation and make sure that you have the full fun of it.

The Manhattan Fish Market Now In Sri Lanka
The world renowned seafood restaurant chain; Manhattan Fish Market has made its debut in Sri Lanka with the sole intent of serving the local food lovers. Complete with the international menu, which offers signature dishes such as the Manhattan Seafood Flaming Platter, is completely trans fat free and is prepared in one of five ways; grilled, flamed, fried, poached or baked. The premium ingredients sourced from the best in the world will be highlighted by the rare delicacies of cod, dory and scallops. 'There is a gap in the market when it comes to affordable seafood restaurants that are set for casual dining and this is where Manhattan Fish Market comes in,' commented Khalil-ur-rahman, CEO – The Seafood Factory. The Manhattan Fish Market, the newest in top range dining venues in Colombo is now open to serve its patrons with the choicest cuisine.

Theme Museum Coming up in Akuressa
A theme museum, Jathika Uruma Uyana to visualise the true history of Sri Lanka will be established at Kahawilgoda ancient temple premises, Akuressa. The theme museum is a concept of Kahawilgoda Ancient Temple Chief Incumbent Ven Paraduwa Jinarathana Thero. Addressing the media at the Ananda Samarakoon studio of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation yesterday, Ven Paraduwe Jinarathana Thero said though the Mahawansaya and Thupawansaya are available in the country, it is difficult to find people who read these books. "We decided to showcase the proud history, especially among the younger generation. With the establishment of this theme museum, anybody can get a clear idea of history in seven or eight hours," he said. He said they have the blessings of the President for this project. Ven Paraduwe Jinarathana Thero said under the guidance of the President, a circular was issued by the Secretary to the President to the Archaeological Department to directly engage in this project. Archaeology Department Director General Professor Senarath Dissanayake said the use of archaeology books is low in the country. "Though the department has a large collection of books, we sell only two or three copies of some books a year. Unfortunately, only a handful read archaeology books in the country. We have to find alternative ways to educate people on the country's history. The theme museum is a good concept," he said. The estimated total cost of the project is Rs 1,040 million of which the government will allocate Rs 60 million. The Jatika Uruma Uyana Committee requested skilled sculptures willing to engage in this national service to send their applications to the Department of Archaeology, Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha. Colombo 7.

Round and About Kalpitiya
Along the north west coast lies an unspoilt peninsula endowed with sandy stretches, an abundance of marine life just a few miles off the coast, high winds for a rush of adrenaline and a soothing seclusion all year around. Kalpitiya in the Puttalam District prized with both a beach strip and a coastal lagoon is gaining momentum as a popular stop for tourists. Among its many attributes, in particular, is the dolphin and whale watching season that occurs from November till April drawing a steady stream of enthusiasts to its shores. Since deep ocean waters occur just a few miles off the shore, excursions out at sea take a mere few hours for sightings of large pods of spinner dolphins numbering in the thousands. The marine life of Kalpitiya extends farther to the Bar Reef sanctuary, believed to be the largest coral formation in South East Asia. The live coral plate that can be found just an hour’s boat ride away has resulted in many snorkelling expeditions to view the vivid beauty of coral life in the translucent depths. In recent times the landscape of the parts has been marked by many man-made structures as well. While the Norochcholai power plant remains a distinctive landmark along the coastal belt, another striking feature is the series of wind turbines that dominate the landscape. The high winds that prevail in the region have paved way for another attraction that has quickly gained popularity – kite surfing. A sporting adventure that evokes just as much attention as dolphin watching amongst tourists, kite surfing draws visitors during the off season to test the winds and the lagoon waters for a bout of adrenaline rush. Amidst the sounds of the lapping ocean and the rustle of coconut fronds, the tents afford inviting comforts within its cosy confines With much to keep one’s sights on these shores, the coastal belt has yielded to a number of cosy retreats for tourists and visitors to the parts.

Mongoose Adventures Assists in Removal of Underwater Debris
The International Diving Centre, a partner of Mongoose Adventures, conducted a programme in Trincomalee to assist in the removal of debris and fishing nets which litter the Swami Rock dive site. The venture is another step in the series of programmes organized under the “dive against debris” campaign. A team consisting of nine divers removed up to about 250 kg of underwater debris and many fishing nets that trap fish and damage coral reefs. “There are so many fishnets covering the place and on every dive we find fish entangled in lines, which are also hazardous for divers,” said Nishan Silva, Managing Director – Mongoose Adventures.

Nilaveli Beach Hotel Wins Trip Advisor Accolade
Nilaveli Beach Hotel, Trincomalee, the longest standing beach front hotel on the East Coast which will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year, has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the second consecutive year. The property commissioned in 1974 was the first hotel to be built by Mr. George Ondaatjie who later built Tangerine Beach and Royal Palm Beach hotels in Kalutara and also acquired the Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya, and developed what was a crumbling edifice to its present grandeur. The Trip Advisor accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on Trip Advisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on Trip Advisor receive this prestigious award. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on Trip Advisor, and must have been listed on Trip Advisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. "As the longest standing hotel in the East Coast, we are truly honoured to have been recognized by our customers through Trip Advisor once again." said Travice Ondaatjie, the Managing Director Nilaveli Beach. "Since reopening after the Tsunami in 2007, we have continued to improve our guest facilities and quality of service offered to our long standing loyal customers. The resident manager, Ravi Ramsay and his team have made great strides in customer service by making all our guests feel that they have come to a place that’s a home away from home, so they enjoy a wholesome family oriented holiday. "The Executive Chef, Aruna Ekanayake and his team have also contributed immensely to provide a high quality of food, so our guests truly are treated to the great flavours and variety of the East Coast" The hotel sits amidst over 12 acres of lush tropical tree canopy, located on one of Sri Lanka’s most pristine stretches of beach front, just 2km from the Pigeon Island National Marine Park. The resort currently operates 45 rooms in Standards and Deluxe categories and will be opening two new luxury beach suites by end of the year. A further development of 24 Villa Rooms and guest facilities which will include conference/banquet hall, spa, gym, shopping arcade and diving school is also in process of being granted approval by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the owners said.

Ayubowan ! Sri Lanka - 12th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 12th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • Negombo, a MICE Tourism Hub Soon
  • CNN has Named Unawatuna Among Its World's Best 100 Beaches
  • The Gourmet Locales Of The Streets
  • Experience Colombo In A New Light, At Night
  • Horton Plains, Leave Only Footprints
  • Pasikuda, A Tourist Marvel
  • Hotel Rock Face, At The Heart Of Tranquillity

Negombo, a MICE Tourism Hub Soon
Negombo will soon be a hub for MICE (Meeting Incentive Conference and Exhibition) tourism in Sri Lanka, said Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) committee member and Sancharaka Udawa, Organising Committee Chairman, Imran Hassan. He said that Negombo will be a hub for MICE tourism due to the varied pricing and accommodation opportunities offered by hotels in the area. The close proximity to the airport is a major advantage for the boom in tourism in Negombo. Negombo, on the western coast of the country is known for its serene and charming beaches and resorts and it draws tourists from all over the world. The town is popular for ceramics and brassware. The place is famous among travellers for the freshness of its sea food. Hassan said that tourism industry will grow at a rapid pace achieving its targets but there has to be a level playing field for all stakeholders of the industry. “The tourism industry has to be competitive with a reasonable pricing structure,” he said. Currently the hotel room rate per day in Sri Lanka is $ 183. Industry experts are of the view that if Sri Lanka is to attract more visitors it has to be competitive with regard to room rates. SLAITO accounts for around 90 percent of the inbound tour operations in Sri Lanka. The Association has around 130 members. SLAITO Vice President Zerney Packeer said that the Association accounts for around 60 percent of the total tourist arrivals in the country. Sancharaka Udawa, a tourism product meet mart organised by SLAITO with Sri Lanka Tourism will be held at the BMICH on June 14 and 15. Travel excursions in Sri Lanka are increasing day by day. Making this an opportunity tour operators in Sri Lanka play a main role providing a best quality service to the tourists who comes spend a holiday in Sri Lanka. Travel to Sri Lanka to enjoy the fascinations spotted around the country.

CNN has Named Unawatuna Aamong Its World\'s Best 100 Beaches
It can\'t be easy being a standout beach in a country of awesome beaches, but Unawatuna does it, CNN said. Hanging off the southern tip of Sri Lanka, it stretches for more than a mile, and is marked by palm trees, thatch huts and a languid pace. Many international travel magazines refer to beauty of Unawatuna beach. This opens up ways to the tour operators in Sri Lanka to attract much more tourists to the country and enhance the joy of the vacation spenders giving them the opportunity to shuffle pleasure. This marvel at Unawatuna is a treasure to the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. This opens up ways to the tour operators in Sri Lanka to attract much more tourists to the country and enhance the joy of the vacation spenders giving them the opportunity to shuffle pleasure. This marvel at Unawatuna is a treasure to the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. Travel excursions in Sri Lanka are increasing day by day. Making this an opportunity tour operators in Sri Lanka play a main role providing a best quality service to the tourists who comes spend a holiday in Sri Lanka. Travel to Sri Lanka to enjoy the fascinations spotted around the country. Organize a tour to Sri Lanka in your vacation where you can taste these divine flavours and have an amazing time with wondrous and adventurous travel excursions under the guidance of a travel tour guide.

The Gourmet Locales Of The Streets
Sri Lanka has a unique culture of street food, differentiated mainly by city of origin and sale. A fact that reflects in the slight differences of preparation and presentation, based on the region the said food is found in. Elements of the area the food draws its roots from inevitably finds its way into the dishes that are sold widely throughout the Island. Commercial districts are most likely to be heavily populated with street food vendors, as is evident on any journey to Pettah, which inevitably crosses paths with the said population in folds of ten. Sago is a type of starch extracted from the pith of various tropical palm stems, a popular food item in Sri Lanka consumed in different forms including the congee preparation. “Ada” is actually a traditional Kerala delicacy involving rice parcels encased in a dough made of rice flour Most of these food items also had a sweet taste except for the Samosa. The Samosa, a triangular patty stuffed on occasions with vegetables, mutton or fish as they were on this occasion were a popular food item, sold across the Island. Abdul Hameed Street in Pettah is filled to the brim with street vendors serving a wide variety of foods that would require much time to taste and comment on. Mango, guava and Ceylon olives are popular delicacies, served in small polythene bags with the addition of chillie, salt and vinegar. Achcharu, pickle typically made with unripe fruit is largely popular throughout the Island. Parata and even rice, served with beef tripe curry, roast chicken, mutton and prawn curry among an unimaginable number of others. Organize a tour to Sri Lanka in your vacation where you can taste these divine flavours and have an amazing time with wondrous and adventurous travel excursions under the guidance of a travel tour guide.

Experience Colombo In A New Light, At Night
A new luxury shuttle service from the South to Colombo now offers you the opportunity to visit some of the most scenic locations in the city and experience the energies of the night. Sri Lanka is a diverse experience, especially for the first time visitor. It may be difficult to pack in all the things you want to do and see to a short holiday of a few weeks. The contrast in what she has to offer, from the cool mountainscapes and inspiring heritage sites to the warm and sandy beaches, all you can wish for in a holiday is here. Travel agencies have tried to address this by offering travellers the opportunity to choose or design their own tours. However, even this leaves visitors having to compromise one experience or location over the other. In Sri Lanka casinos are still not considered being within the mainstream leisure sector. But increasingly casinos are offering a combination of entertainment, hospitality as well as the gaming experience. You can now add a little excitement to a relaxing holiday in the South with a night out in Colombo’s best spots. Bally’s Colombo, one of the more established casino’s in Colombo, has capitalised on this trend and introduced the innovative concept of “Colombo by Night” – a luxury shuttle service from Galle to Colombo. Starting from The Fortress Resort and Spa, the shuttle travels on the Southern Expressway. In Colombo, the shuttle stops at several landmarks ending with some popular night spots. The first stop for the shuttle in Colombo is the Geoffrey Bawa designed Parliamentary complex situated on the 12 acre Duwa island on Diyawanna Oya, Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte. The other spots where the shuttle makes a stop are the Waters Edge, Battaramulla, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Independence Memorial Hall in Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo Racecourse, Beira Lake, The Galle Face Green, The Colombo Dutch Hospital, The World Trade Centre and the newly opened Sky Lounge on the rooftop of the Kingsbury Hotel, and Silk, the bar and lounge that offers a chic and relaxed atmosphere to its clientele with both local and international entertainment. The tour finally ends at Bally’s Casino at eight in the night where guests can enjoy the atmosphere and try their luck at the games on offer. With Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 12’2013 |June 05, 2013 3 the purchase of the tour you also get free non-cashable playing chips and complimentary drinks and food. And you also have the option of either staying – and playing – at Bally’s until early morning the next day when the coach will depart back to Galle from Bally’s at five o’clock. If you want to visit other night clubs or bars instead of spending the whole evening at Bally’s that is also accommodated. According to Brian Colwell, CEO – Bally’s Colombo, “the ‘Colombo by Night‘ concept was thought of some time back when we realised there was quite a market down South who may wish to visit sightseeing in Colombo and spend some time at Bally’s and other nightspots with a little high energy as well as more chilled-out clubs. And we are very confident that the tour is going to pick up with visitors to the South and locals who are resident in the area.” The tour is presently starting from the Fortress Resort and Spa although provisions are made for those from the area or staying in hotels nearby to join the shuttle from the Resort. In the future however, the tour will be made available in several other hotels down South and pick-up points established at several locations in the area. For the convenience of travelers, a tour guide is also on board to provide a personalised service. You can make reservations for the Colombo by Night luxury shuttle service either at The Fortress Resort and Spa or by calling Bally’s Colombo hotline.

Horton Plains, Leave Only Footprints
At the entrance to Horton Plains, a worn-out, green colour notice catches one's attention, particularly nature lovers'. It says - KILL only time; TAKE only pictures; REMOVE only rubbish; LEAVE only footprints. Rolling hills and endless grasslands greet travellers to one of Sri Lanka's most-visited parks where there is an abundance of plant and different types of vegetation, animal and bird life. A stream, which widens to as much as 50-60 feet at some points or narrows to about five to ten feet, meanders for most of the 10 km-long footpath that takes you to popular sites like the ‘Little World's End', ‘World's End' and ‘Baker's Fall.' Horton Plains is some 160 km away, to the east of Colombo and in Sri Lanka's hilly central region; accessible by road from Nuwara Eliya or Bandarawela. It is cold, windy and rainy for at least nine months of the year, but on a welcome sunny day the park is like a picture post card of lush grassland, sweeping meadows and flowing streams. The walk to World's End is just over four kilometres, the trail then curves to Baker's Falls and continues back to the entrance. The round trip could take two to four hours and the best time to see the World's End is before 7 am. Usually after 9 am, the mist comes down. Temperatures can get as high as 280C or fall as low as zero. Entering the forest after walking the plains, the air is cooler and more humid. The forest canopy is as high as 60 feet, not as tall as forest covers in other Sri Lankan parks or nature reserves. Dozens of notices on cemented platforms provide details of plant, animal and bird life and the different types of vegetation. 20 of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic bird species, one sign says, are found at Horton Plains. Croaking frogs and crickets are the only sounds, mingling with occasional flashes of rain. However local crowds, who visit on weekends, could get noisy and rumbustious, at times. There are plenty of dark spaces, small ponds and ferns in the forest. Invasive species such as the thorny, yellow flowered shrub and the bright green fern are not native to Sri Lanka, and threaten native species. Park management has begun a programme to manage and control these invasive species. The washed-up foot path, at some points with large rocks sticking out, could be treacherous especially for the older traveller and some mothers carrying babies, White water gushes down Bakers Fall, forming into frothy puddles and small streams that flow through the plains. Travellers dip their feet and have a wash in the ice Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 12’2013 |June 05, 2013 4 cold waters. Visitors are lucky if they're able to spot trout in the stream. Trout is the only fish introduced by the British for angling purposes. As the main purpose of national parks is to protect biodiversity, breeding of trout is not encouraged. The plains were named after the then British Governor of Ceylon, Sir Robert Wilmot Horton who served from 1831 to 1837. Declared a nature reserve, it was elevated to the status of a National Park. The park is strictly a - ‘no polythene', ‘no open flames' zone. Visitors are not allowed to carry any plastic bags, sheets, cigarettes, lighters or match boxes. Park security officers check all bags at the entrance. Water is permitted in glass bottles. "Biscuits and bread are permitted but not cooked rice," one officer explains. Nevertheless banned items like plastic bottles and cigarettes are smuggled in. The venue draws hundreds of local and foreign visitors particularly on a weekend. A gentle warning however: mist, cloudy skies and windy rain often take away breathtaking views of hills and mountains beyond the plains. However, on a clear day you can see the sea on the southern coast from World's End.

Pasikuda, A Tourist Marvel
Today the pearl white beaches and unruffled sea waves attract thousands of beach lovers to Pasikuda. Before peace was restored in the country in 2009 after the end of three decades of war against terrorism, this destination becoming a tourist marvel was beyond comprehension. Way back from 1971 until 1983, Pasikuda was a popular tourist destination with unending potential for development. Plagued by terrorism these tranquil beaches were in darkness for decades. As a major part of East was freed from terrorism, along with the Government initiated mega development project \'Eastern Revival\', tourism flourished in several areas including Trincomalee with star class hotels being built. It is in this backdrop that the Government launched a special program to develop Pasikuda and Kalkuda as tourist destinations. The authenticity, compactness and diversity this island nation has makes it hard to stop it becoming a heartthrob for travellers. Yet much to be done. Roads had to be rebuilt and improved, land had to be allocated for hoteliers and a specific plan became necessary to develop the tourism industry in these areas and ensure that the benefits reached the grass roots level of the local communities. Today the Pasikuda bay is a line of high-end hotels and a beach that gets crowded every weekend by people from all over the country. \"The local authorities says that on weekends more than 4,000 people on an average come to Pasikuda. This is a huge number compared to the recent past, when no tourist came to this beach,\" said Director (Tourism, Planning and Development) of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), P.U. Rathnayake.Prior to 1983, Pasikuda was a popular resort for both foreign and local tourists with 171 rooms available in three hotels and with necessary infrastructure facilities in place. Water was supplied from the Valachchenai Paper Mills which is about 10 km from the resort. Even today the Pasikuda tourist zone receives a continuous supply of water from the Valachchanai Paper Mill water source. With new improvements in power supply, the zone receives power and energy to run round-the-clock operations of the industry. \"There are more roads that need to be developed and we a re discussing with officials of the Road Development Authority to carpet the roads,\" said Rathnayake.

Hotel Rock Face, At The Heart Of Tranquillity
Tucked away in a haven of serenity, Hotel Rock Face is come upon at the end of a winding trail off Rathmalgoda, Horana. Lush paddy fields and rubber cultivations give the property a scenic setting and an unparalleled level of seclusion. Described as an agritourist resort the hotel sits on eight acres of cultivated land and is secured by the shade of towering woods, setting the tone for an ambient hideaway that begs to be indulged in. Agritourism, a relatively new concept to Sri Lanka, grants guests the opportunity to indulge in the many observable facets of cultivation taking place within the property. In the case of Hotel Rock Face, the primary cultivation is Rubber. Immediately adjoining the driveway is the bungalow, the largest of available accommodation units with three rooms, alongside two cottages and a further two cottages in the process of being completed. The simplistic architectural style of the accommodation complements the luscious surroundings and has an unmistakable coziness attached to it, probably due in part to its snug structure. The minimalistic furnishing does great justice to the ambience set by the sweeping trees, providing an unmatched oneness with nature. Deeper in the emerald tapestry of the property are two cottages, positioned in isolation apart from each other as a negligible disturbance to the placid environment that offers refuge to anyone who seeks to be submerged in the quiet of the scenery. The pebbles, which form the bed are believed to be beneficial to good health, alleviating blood circulation, stress and tension. The mineral density of spring water being higher than other forms of water assists in the rejuvenating quality of a simple dip in the natural pool. Hotel Rock Face grants much to be explored in and around its boundaries with the slopes running through a never ending arena of forestry, rich with a diversity of luscious greens. “Pareithota”, situated a mere ten minute drive from the property offers a haven of nature to bathe in the fresh-water streams and breathe in the ambience of nature. Guests have the opportunity to go boating in the “Kalu Ganga,” also located nearby. Tea plucking and rubber tapping activities take place in the nearby plantations and offer an insightful experience for interested observers. Fishing and birdwatching along with gem mining that takes place in Rathnapura are all activities that guests can engage in. The cuisine is a variety of eclectic dishes, stemming from varied origins, however the emphasis is on Italian and Sri Lankan preparations, which the staff specialises in. Hotel Rock Face arranges excursions to places of interest located in proximity to the property and offers personalised services with regard to travel requirements and accommodation. Located an hour and a half from Colombo, Hotel Rock Face is a much needed escape to anyone tangled in the hustles of their day to day city lives.

Ayubowan ! Sri Lanka - 11th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 11th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • Colombo Glows with Amadahara Vesak Zone
  • Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals up by 14.7 Percent in April
  • Sri Lankan Airlines Launches 'Upgra'd E-Auction for Business Class Upgrades
  • Luxury Train Service Between Kandy-Colombo
  • Emirates to Add More Flights to Sri Lanka's Colombo Airport From Next Month
  • Live Like a Local in Sri Lanka
  • Prestigious Title for Jungle Beach Luxury Boutique Hotel

Colombo Glows with Amadahara Vesak Zone
The Amadahara Vesak Zone of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) which commenced on Friday, was held for the third and final day on Sunday on a grand scale. Over 120 competitors from different parts of the country participated in the Vesak lantern competition. Winners received cash prizes and certificates. The Amadahara Vesak Zone comprised Vesak lanterns, Bakthi Gee recitals and dansela. ANCL Chairman and Managing Director Bandula Padmakumara, Director Editorial Seelarathna Senarath, Presidential Coordinating Secretary and ANCL Director Operations Upul Dissanayake, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Business Coordination Officer Kiththi Perera, SLT Chief Marketing Officer Roshan Kaluarachchi participated on Sunday. Media and Information Ministry Secretary Dr Charitha Herath opened the Amadahara Vesak Zone on Saturday while Chief Marketing and Sales Officer of Sri Lanka Telecom Ajantha Seneviratne and CIO of Sri Lanka Telecom Rohana Wijeweera opened the Amadahara Vesak Zone on Friday. TV Derana and FM Derana were the electronic media sponsors of the event.

Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals up by 14.7 Percent in April
Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 14.7 percent in April this year compared to the same period last year, the data released today by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. The month recorded 79,829 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 69,591arrived in April 2012.Tourist arrivals recorded a 11.7 percent increase in the first four months of this year with 368,627 tourists arriving in the island. Overall arrivals from North America rose 14.3 percent to 19,859 this year. Arrivals form US rose 30.2 percent during the first four months of 2013 while arrivals from Canada declined 1.3 percent.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 156,658 during the first four months, a 12.1 percent increase from the 139,692 tourists arrived in the same period last year.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 17.7 percent with the arrival of 31,754 tourists while tourist arrivals from Middle East only increased by 0.7 percent. Arrivals from South Asia up to April increased by 5.3 percent with 79,880 tourists visiting the island. Arrivals from India declined 5.2 percent reflecting the anti Sri Lankan campaign in the Tamil Nadu state of India. Sri Lanka fulfilled its target of one million tourist arrivals last year and earned over US$ 1 billion from tourism. The country targets 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Since the end of the war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in May 2009, the country has seen steady rise in tourist arrivals every year for the past four years.

SriLankan Airlines Launches 'Upgra'd e-auction' for Business Class Upgrades
SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, has introduced Upgra'd’ e-auction, which gives passengers the opportunity to bid for Business Class upgrades, online. Upgra'd is an extremely user-friendly online procedure, where an Economy Class ticket holder booked on a SriLankan flight operating to any SriLankan online destination can place a bid for an upgrade by filling in and submitting an e-form available in the website, the airline said in a press release.
It opens up an array of Business Class comforts ranging from cozy flatbed seats to the AVOD inflight entertainment system that has the latest audio/video on demand and games. Complementing this facility are the wide screens with superior high resolution picture quality for infinite viewing pleasure. Complete with a wide spread of culinary delights and the finest SriLankan hospitality, flying in the Business Class amidst world class comforts is sure to make memories for every traveller.
SriLankan Business Class also offers the passenger fast-track check-in options, access to the lounge, a baggage entitlement of 40 kg and the opportunity to earn FlySmiLes miles. SriLankan Airlines, Chief Marketing Officer, G.T. Jeyaseelan said "SriLankan Airlines, as the national carrier of Sri Lanka, has been looking for innovative ways to make its services more customer-centric. Upgra'd is an option where, moving along with the new hi-tech advancements, we are offering our Economy Class travellers the opportunity to experience the comforts of Business Class at an affordable price." SriLankan Airlines, Head of Worldwide Sales Lal Perera said, "With a bit of luck and few rupees more Upgra'd lets the Economy Class passenger to experience our Business Class.
With Upgra'd, the payment for an online bid has to be made through credit card and if the offer is accepted, the passenger will be informed via email between 72 and 48hrs prior to departure. In the instances where an upgrade is not possible, the previous booking will remain valid and nothing will be charged from the ticket-holder.

Luxury Train Service Between Kandy-Colombo
Sri Lanka Ministry of Transport says the Sri Lanka Railways will launch a super luxury train service from Colombo to Kandy from May. Minister of Transport Kumar Welgama said that this is the first time a super luxury train is launched by Sri Lanka Railways in its history from 1864. This fully air conditioned first class intercity train will have fully rotating adjustable seats and electronic entertainment facilities. The train will have 10 compartments which will include 44 seats. One way ticket will be Rs. 500 only, a spokesman of the Sri Lanka Railways said. According to the schedule, the train will start its run from Colombo Fort on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5.50 p.m. and leave Kandy at 5.50 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The inter-city train will stop only at Peradeniya, Ragama and Gampaha. According to Sri Lanka Railways General Manager B.A.P.Ariyarathna this train service will be extended to other days depending on the demand for the service.Also, Sri Lanka Railway is making arrangements for passengers to reserve their seats even one month ahead, deviating from the current reservation process that enables passengers to reserve seats only two weeks in advance.

Emirates to Add More Flights to Sri Lanka's Colombo Airport from Next Month
Dubai's international carrier Emirates Airlines Wednesday announced plans to increase capacity on its services to Sri Lanka's Colombo International Airport from 30th June 2013. The airline will add three more flights per week between Dubai and Colombo on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. The additional service will increase the number of flights between the two cities to four each day on those days, and take the total number of weekly Emirates flights serving Colombo to 31. "The demand for seats to Colombo is increasing, and these additional flights will enable more people to visit the city whether to visit friends and family, for leisure or on business," Chandana de Silva, Emirates Area Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives has said. According to Emirates, the three new flights will be operated with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in two class configuration, adding 126 Business Class and 1,158 Economy Class seats each way per week on the route, as well as 23 tonnes of additional capacity for cargo per flight. Meanwhile, the Dubai based budget airline, flydubai started scheduled operations to its second destination in Sri Lanka, the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, on 21 May 2013. Flydubai flights to Hambantota will operate three-times a week from 21 May 2013 leaving Dubai on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, landing in Mattala International Airport at following a stop in Colombo.

Live Like a Local in Sri Lanka
Learn the intricacies of typical Sri Lankan village lifestyles and culture while making a meaningful contribution to the community you are visiting… It is with these concepts in mind that Walkers Tours developed the ‘Live Like a Local’ concept in partnership with individuals from two rural villages in Sri Lanka. The financial support and commitment of Walkers Tours has enabled these locals to setup projects which will bring sustainable economic benefit to their communities. The projects offer travelers the opportunity to live in a typical village community in chalets which provide basic, but clean and comfortable accommodation. The focus of the experience is to interact and integrate as far as possible with the local community by joining in the ‘every day’ activities around the village. While the accommodation will not have ‘star’ classified amenities and luxuries, this is a chance for travelers to gain a deep understanding of a foreign culture while making friends and forming relationships which may last a lifetime. Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 11’2013 |May 29, 2013 4 The first of the Walkers Tours “live Like a Local’ experiences, ‘Tamarind Gardens’ was launched in 2012 in the village of Digana which is located 20 kilometers from Kandy. Tamarind Gardens is a small domestic farm located on the banks of the Victoria Reservoir, consisting of 10 cows, poultry and a fruit and vegetable garden. Travelers can either assist in the care and maintenance of the farm or join in any one of the many cottage industries which are run out of the homes of local villagers. These include learning how to make your own incense sticks to take back home as an exotic reminder of your Sri Lankan adventure or trying your hand at making a piece of unique Kandyan jewellery. Travelers can also join in or learn about the preparation of local food.

Prestigious Title for Jungle Beach Luxury Boutique Hotel
Jungle Beach, the luxury boutique hotel by Uga Escapes, was selected to the prestigious “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” portfolio recently. Jungle Beach was the first and only of its kind hotel to be built in Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee District, and on the entire east coast. This magnificent hotel is set on a ten acres of pristine land located between the Indian Ocean and the jungle.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) has an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small luxury independent hotels. SLH comprises over 520 hotels in more than 70 countries such as diversified chic hotels, palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries, remote private islands, historic country houses and idyllic resorts. Priyanjith Weerasooria, Managing Director of Uga Escapes said, “Sri Lanka is in the midst of an eco-tourism boom at present. Jungle Beach exemplifies the true meaning of eco-tourism and because of this we believe that we are in a better position to contribute to the growth of this industry. The East Coast of Sri Lanka has some of the island’s most fascinating destinations, waiting to be discovered. Jungle Beach itself is a fantastic addition to the allure of this part of the island.” Speaking further, Weerasooria stated, “Uga Escapes has always strived to be a global benchmark in the boutique hotels industry. Becoming a part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World highlights the success of these efforts and also serves as a boost to Sri Lanka’s luxury tourism industry.” He added that they would continue to work towards providing the most luxurious getaways in a sustainable manner thereby offering a truly unique experience to all their guests. “I would like to thank our wonderful team for their steadfast commitment and untiring efforts. Their hard work has made this achievement possible,” stated Weerasooria.
Jungle Beach comprises large ecologically-sustainable chalets with 650 square feet of space. Each of the 48 chalets is luxuriously appointed with king-sized beds, high-end entertainment systems, private decks, outdoor rain showers and other modern amenities. The resort also offers a Spa, Gym and an open-air restaurant with many elegant signature-dining options on open decks on the beach and in the trees. The property’s unique location offers a jungle experience at one end and an ocean setting on the other. Speaking about compliance and assessing standards for inclusion Paul Kerr, CEO of SLH said, “Strict controls are maintained to ensure that only the very best hotels with the highest standards are accepted into the SLH portfolio. This accolade further confirms the uniqueness of Jungle Beach and its location as a perfect base for travelers with a passion for adventure and desire for exploration.

Ayubowan ! Sri Lanka - 10th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 10th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

  • Vesak Festival
  • Sri Lanka Tourism forecast US$ 3 Billion revenue by 2016
  • Economic Development Ministry launches 'Matching Grant Scheme'
  • Hambantota Port – prospective cruise destination
  • Fly to Mattala and enjoy adventurous Yala or the serenity in Kataragama
  • Kulu Safari
  • Eco Village Holiday Resort - Kamburupitiya

Vesak Festival
The month of May is of special significance to Buddhists the world over. It is the month of Vesak for them. The full moon day in May - the 24th this year - commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinibbana - Passing Away of the Buddha. Just as much as it is a holy day, Vesak is also a Festival of Lights. Just as much as flowers are offered at the feet of the Buddha, lights are another offering to the Sacred One. In a Buddhist home, along with a tray of flowers, a lamp is lit in front of a Buddha statue or a picture, as an offering. It signifies the dispelling of darkness. Lights are everywhere on Vesak night. The Buddhist temples are a blaze of lights. Hundreds of oil lamps are lit and placed round the Bodhi-tree - the symbol of Buddha's Enlightenment which occurred in 588 BC. Oil lamps are also lit and placed on shelves specially erected in the temple premises to place them. Electric jets adorn every tree and bush in the premises.The streets in cities and towns are filled with decorations where lights are the dominant feature. In the capital of Colombo, a major happening is the ‘Buddha Rashmi' (literally meaning the rays of the Buddha) Vesak Festival when several roads in the heart of the city is illuminated with a large number of lanterns, pandols and other decorations. The festival is organised by the Gangaramaya - a prominent temple in the city. Creative artistes turn out lanterns (they are called Vesak koodu) of numerous sizes and shapes using paper, bamboo and other indigenous material. Decorative designs add colour and provision is made to light up each one of them using electric bulbs. The Beira lake situated close to the Gangaramaya forms the nucleus of the festival of lights. Giant pandols are another feature of the Vesak festival. These depict the previous lives of the Buddha referred to as Jataka stories as well as episodes from the Buddha's life. These large structures are made using bamboo on which are hung large paintings and other decorations and festooned with lights. Thousands of electric bulbs are used to illuminate the pandols and the local craftsmen have become experts in planning and executing these structures. Large crowds throng the city to see the festival of lights throughout several nights. The ‘Buddha Rashmi Pooja' held for the fifth successive year, is on from May 25-29. Families turn up from remote villages to see the Vesak decorations. Refreshments are served to these visitors to the city at ‘dansalas' - wayside stalls which are also lit up as part of the celebrations - where food and soft drinks are available throughout the night for free distribution. There is plenty of sound in the form of music at the lit up stalls and pandol sites. Live concerts are held by the roadside where Buddhist songs are sung, Jataka stories are enacted in the form of dramas and puppet shows are held. Vesak is thus a sacred day mixed with celebrations in honour of the Buddha.

Sri Lanka Tourism Forecast US$ 3 Billion Revenue by 2016
Four years after the 30-year anti-terrorist war tourism has become one of Sri Lanka’s biggest foreign exchange-earners with average annual revenue of US $ 1 billion at present. The number of tourist arrivals last year was 1,005,605 while in January this year 97,411 tourists visited the country. The country is expected to earn an annual income of 3 billion US dollars by 2016. The government has set a target of attracting 2.5 million high spending tourists by that year. In keeping with this trend Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities launched a three-day Mega promotional campaign named “Get Sri Lanken’ed” which kicked off in style in Mumbaion Friday followed by a high profile media conference held in Taj Lands End Hotel- Salcette, Mumbai. The press conference was the first of series of events lined up under the “Get SriLankan’ed” promotional campaign of Sri Lanka Tourism, implemented with the aim of positioning Sri Lanka as a most sought after travel destination in emerging markets of the world. In 2010 Sri Lanka was ranked at the first position in the “31 Places to go in 2010” published by the New York. The campaign - “Get Sri Lanken’ed” - was initiated on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s advice in accordance with the Mahinda Chinthana Vision. The objective of developing a sustainable Sri Lankan tourism industry inspired this campaign organized jointly by the public and private sectors.

Economic Development Ministry Launches ‘Matching Grant Scheme'
The Ministry of Economic Development has introduced a Matching Grant Scheme under the Mahinda Chintana Vision for the Future” to support the tourism related SMEs and strengthen the local economy through sustainable tourism development. Accordingly the Ministry of Economic Development has made available a sum of Rs. 2,000 million with a credit facility from the World Bank as an out-right grant for the development of tourism and tourism related Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’S). Thereby, the Ministry of Economic Development will bear the cost for either 50% of the project value or a maximum of Rs. 10 million of any SME project under the tourism industry. It is the government’s belief that the SME sector would bridge the gap between large scale corporates and micro level enterprises there by further contributing towards the objective of strengthening the economy of the country. This Matching Grant Scheme will be administered by People’s Bank under the direction of the Ministry of Economic Development. People’s Bank as the matching admintrator bank brings forward over 50 years of experience in dealing with financial services relating to many ministries in the country and with an extensive branch network of over 725 and owning up to 24 SME sectors testified as the most qualified financial institution to manage the funding of this grant. Through this project it is estimated that almost 1500 SMEs belonging to the industry will receive benefits while 2000 new job opportunities will also be created. The project will also improve the technical and managerial skills of almost 5000 persons and it is expected to bring an additional investment of Rs. 5000 million towards tourism and tourism related SME’s. As per the recent analytics tourist arrivals for the year 2010 stood at 650,000 while this number increased to 1,005,605 in 2012. The Government of Sri Lanka has arrived at steps to increase tourist arrivals to 2.5 Million in 2016 and to 4 Million by the year 2020.Through such figures it is estimated that the country will receive an income of USD 3 Billion in 2016 and USD 8 Billion in 2020 in terms of foreign exchange earnings. However in order to achieve these targets, certain drawbacks prevailing in the SME sector need to be identified and necessary steps need to be taken. It is important to create an environment that satisfy tourists which will result in re-visits and promote Sri Lanka as one of the best holiday destinations in the world.

Hambantota Port Prospective Cruise Destination
Sri Lanka hopes to attract 2.5 million high-spending tourists by 2016. Chairman, SriLankan Airlines, Nishantha Wickramasinghe said that with the opening of the second international airport, the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Hambantota, this number would increase by a further one million. The national carrier is promoting cruise ships to anchor at the Hambantota Port and convert the region in to a major cruise destination similar to Singapore. Most leading cruise liners in the world drop and pick up passengers in Singapore. Due to this, the Singapore airport gets at least an additional 30 percent more passenger movements. This is the business model SriLankan Airlines wants to create for the Hambantota district. By doing so, tourists would use both the Hambantota Port and Airport to facilitate cruise travel, thus opening a new area of business. The East Coast, with the ending of 30 years of hostilities, has become a major tourist attraction and several five star hotels have come up to meet the demand. Tourists have to spend nearly nine hours to reach the much sought after Eastern hotels, but with the opening of the MRIA, the East Coast is just a three-hour drive. Since most SriLankan Airlines flights touch down at MRIA and there are also regular flights to the Bandaranaike International Airport at Colombo, tourists now have the option of first exploring the Eastern Coast and the Deep South and their wildlife, visit the Cultural Triangle and fly back from Colombo.

Fly to Mattala and enjoy Yala or Kataragama
Fly to the newly commissioned Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) with SriLankan Holidays to be a part of an adventurous Yala safari or to experience the serenity of Kataragama. SriLankan Holidays, the leisure arm of SriLankan Airlines, while unravelling for the first time, the pleasures of flying to a domestic destination amidst world class comforts, is introducing an all-inclusive package which appeals to both the adventurous safari lover and the diligent devotee. Situated in the close proximity to MRIA, Yala National Park (also known as Ruhunu National Park) is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka which is located about 300 kilometres from Colombo. One of the most frequented sanctuaries by wildlife enthusiasts and photographers for its large numbers of elephants, leopards and birds, a jeep safari in the wilds of Yala will be the dream of every green-loving traveller. Safari is not the only highlight of the package, when it offers the pilgrims who fly to MRIA the opportunity to take part in a pooja at Kataragama. With a history closely tied with amazing legends and folklore, Kataragama sacred city is the beckoning portrayal of devotion and faith devoid of ethnic labels. SriLankan Holidays’ package starts at Rs. 12, 999 which includes return airfare from Colombo to Mattala, return Airport transfers in Hambantota ,hotel accommodation for one night on half board basis, jeep safari at Yala National Park or a “pooja” at Kataragama and return airport transfers in Colombo. SriLankan Airlines also offers convenient check-in options and on-board and ground handling services similar to those offered to travellers who leave for foreign destinations. SriLankan Holidays offers much value for money holiday packages for individuals, couples and families, to business travel, adventure travel, sports tourism and cultural tours.

Kulu Safari
Yala, Uda Walawe and Wilpattu National Parks, Sri Lanka. Adventurous but comfortable camping safaris in Sri Lanka’s major national parks: get set to spot leopards, elephants, wild buffalo and giant porcupines. Forget your bad memories of camping - this luxury experience is as good as any hotel, with the added benefit of a unique window onto Sri Lanka’s natural world. Rotating between 3 national parks according to the time of the year, you’ll see elephant herds under open skies, sunsets with the promise of prowling leopards, daybreak with monkeys, storks, ibis and crocodiles, as well as deer, sloth bears, jackals and wild buffalo. Uda Walawe is the best place in Asia to see elephants in the wild, while Yala and Wilpattu have the densest population of leopards in the world. What's more, birdwatchers will be in heaven: Sri Lanka has 426 species including the delightful bee eater. Safaris are 3-4 days in length, but can be tailor-made for a maximum of 8 people. You’ll be picked up in a Toyota Land Cruiser and taken to the camp by a watering hole for a wonderful lunch. Game drives take place in the early morning and at dusk; lunch is served by or in the river, and at night the camp is lit by flaming torches. Take a walk on the wild side: it’s an unforgettable experience. Trips can be customized according to your particular interests – bird spotting, for example. On each safari you will have a team of at least 5, including an experienced tracker, driver and English-speaking operations director. Leopard, elephant and bird-spotting experts can also be arranged if desired, with around 3 weeks’ notice. The large safari tents are all the same in design: 3 sq.m, divided into a sleeping section and living area. There are comfortable queen size double or twin beds, and mineral water and towels are provided on a bedside table. In the large porch/living area at the front you’ll have 2 chairs, a mirror, chest of drawers and a table. This area needs to be zipped up if you’re not there to prevent monkeys coming in – and we had some painted tree frogs visiting too; harmless and very pretty. The Family Tent can sleep 2 adults and 3 children, and the other tents can each fit an extra bed for a child. In addition, there’s a large open tent that's used as a living room/dining room in the event of rain; a hot and cold water shower – the water is heated when you’re out on a drive, ready for your return – and a chemical toilet per tent. As an alternative to the shower, you can bathe in the river during the day, and special biodegradable shampoo/shower gel is provided for that and the shower. At night the camp is lit by flaming torches and you also have your own torch and lamp in the tent. For a 5.30am drive, you’ll be woken up with biscuits and tea in your tent.

Eco Village Holiday Resort - Kamburupitiya
The Eco Village Holiday Resort in Kamburupitiya is a one of best known Eco resort hotel in down south of Sri Lanka. Surrounding the beautiful Leanabatuwa natural lake and vilpita rain forest the Eco Village Resort is perfect place for anyone for looking for peace and tranquility combined with outstanding Sri Lankan hospitality. Relaxation on your veranda watching the birds flying in to trees is definitely an unforgettable moment. You can taste Sri Lankan Indian Chinese and Western foods with our staff’s grate hospitality within the covered floating ferry. After having the boat ride and fish hunting you can feel comfortable sleep until hearing the bird’s sounds in morning time. Eco Village Resort Kamburupitiya is located 160 km away from the Bandaranaike International Airport and the journey takes you through the city centre of Colombo, passing with the sunny beach coastal way Mount Lavinia and the resort towns of Wadduwa, Hikkadduwa, Galle and Matara. In front of the ancient Matara Bodiya you can take Kamburupitiya road which is on to your left side. 19 km drive through the Kamburupitiya road within 25 minutes you can reach to the Kamburupitiya small city with passing the Thihagoda junction. Center of the Kamburupitiya junction you can find Gathara road. After come 3 km via the Gathara road you can find the Eco village Resort. Eco Village has 5 lake view cabanas and 12 rooms and 2 cottages nestle within a forested environment and provide comfortable accommodation.

Ayubowan ! Sri Lanka - 8th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 8th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka

•Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 11.6-pct in February
•Sri Lankan Airlines to get 13 Airbus aircraft with 7 A350s
•Kottuville, Sri Lanka's First Food Truck
•Water World Kelaniya, Only Public
Aquarium in Sri Lanka with Underwater Tunnel
•First Bird Park in Sri Lanka
•Sri Lanka's first Safari Park
•Palm Paradise Cabanas
•Amanwella Resort
•Exporail Sri Lanka

Amanwella Resort
A two-hour drive east of Galle brings you to AMANWELLA. This contemporary beachfront resort is situated in a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent-shaped beach by the town of Tangalle. Paying homage to Sri Lanka’s renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, 30 air-conditioned suites feature individual plunge pools and private terraces with ocean, beach and coconut grove views. Open on two sides to cooling sea breezes, suites are situated along a hillside and are divided into two categories based on their location and view. Amanwella’s 47m infinity swimming pool is surrounded by an expansive, two-tiered terrace. The Pool Terrace serves alfresco lunch and light snacks. The Restaurant offers stunning views towards the beach and coconut grove and serves Asian and Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood. The Beach Club is an alternative venue for lunch and private dinners, surrounded by coconut palms. Enjoy spa treatments in the Spa Suite or in the privacy of your own suite. Excursions to historic rock temples and tours to spot wildlife in Sri Lanka’s national parks are day trip options.

Exporail Sri Lanka
These words were said by the great travel and children’s writer Robert Louis Stevenson. They encapsulate perfectly the founding ethos of Exporail: a return to a time when train travel was something to be enjoyed as an experience in its own right, rather than the test of endurance it has become for many. Stevenson who was famed for creating enchanting fictional worlds such as Treasure Island would have been utterly charmed by rail travel in Sri Lanka. A small island blessed with a stunning diversity of terrain our two major routes both starting from the capital Colombo offer wildly differing but equally enticing scenic and cultural pleasures. A trip with Exporail to Kandy the proud capital of Sri Lanka’s beautiful Hill Country takes you from the hum of the vibrant Fort region of Colombo a steaming mass of humanity where market vendors trade nosily and tuk tuk’s swerve on a slow rise through paddy fields, before without really realizing it, you find yourself in a part of the world that seems barely touched by modernization.
Huge plateau’s surround by tree covered hills that roll on for a seeming eternity into the horizon, with the odd temple or glimpse of the vast tea estates that are indicative of a different era, a slower and more sedate time of British tea planters and gentleman’s clubs. Often likened to the Scottish Highlands imagine that charming part of the world then add a tropical flavor and no icy winds and you are just about there! Heading south from Colombo to the southern Capital of Galle is another visual treat. The train follows the costal line darting in and out of the thick pine jungle that is ubiquitous on the west coast of the island. The slow crawl out of Colombo is the perfect way to see Sri Lankan’s going about their daily business. Gradually the suburbs end and you are travelling past miles of untouched palm fringed beach, where fisherman go about their catch on their garish boats. On the trip you will pass through tourist villages and fishing villages, centers of Singhalese culture such as mask making, places of worship denoting the varied history of Sri Lanka and get to see firsthand the sleepy pace of life that prevails in southern Sri Lanka. Galle itself has a fascinating 16th century Dutch Fort and is surrounded by some of Asia’s finest beaches.
Train travel is perhaps the best way to see Sri Lanka at its natural pace-languid. Sadly the carriages are getting tired and all but the bravest of visitors will think twice before jumping on the train, which we think is a great pity. That is why we have created our special Exporail carriage. Comfortable seats, air conditioning and a menu of tasty snacks and cool drinks will bring the romance and excitement back to rail travel in a host of glorious trips that combines the nostalgic world of ‘Old Ceylon’ with a country that is rapidly emerging now peace has been restored to the island.

Palm Paradise Cabanas
Palm Paradise Cabanas, Goyambokka, Tangalle is designed especially for nature lovers and guests who want to relax in a peaceful surrounding. The resort exists since 1980, and has 22 comfortable wooden cabanas on stilts now, scattered around a secluded beachside palm-grove, considerably separated from each other, but all being in the shade of the palm trees of an old coconut plantation and each is participating in the scenic view of the Indian Ocean and the cool sea breeze providing natural air conditioning. The cabanas are kept rather basic using local materials, but each is equipped with an attached bathroom with hot water, electricity, fan, tables, chairs, comfortable beds, beach mats, lie lows, spacious Thai mosquito nets and a veranda facing the sea.Food and drinks are served in an octagonal, open and therefore cool restaurant and/or bar. Meals and drinks are generally Sri Lankan style, slightly modified for foreign tongues. A great deal is fresh fish and other sea food, delivered every morning by local fishermen of the neighborhood. We offer a wide selection of local and international wines, delicious Caribbean cocktails and a choice of beers, fresh fruit juices, etc. For your enjoyment, we have open air chill-out lounges, outdoor chess, table tennis, darts, carrom, table games, library, TV and wireless LAN. Ayuvedic herbal oil massages are available on demand. Push- and motorbikes are for rent. The beach is safe for swimming. For your convenience, you can rent hammocks, deckchairs, beach-umbrellas, and beach-towels.

Sri Lanka’s First Safari Park
Sri Lanka’s first Safari Park is coming up at Ridiyagama in Hambantota. Plans are afoot to complete the work and vest it with the public in October. Construction work is being expedited on the First Safari Park which would be a boom to the tourism industry.In Sri Lanka although Local as well as foreign tourists can enjoy the beauty of National parks, Sanctuaries and forest areas they did not have a safari park in the island. Construction work on the first Safari Parkin Sri Lanka which spans about 500 acres was launched in the year 2008. The work is handled by the National Zoological Department. Four Zones of this park will be reserved for carnivorous animals while the remaining two zones will be set apart for herbivorous animals. Of these two zones one section will be exclusively reserved for dangerous animals such as lions, tigers, leopards, etc. The estimated cost of the first stage of the project is 1600 million rupees.Work on several sectors has already been completed. Among them is the hospital to treat animals, the internal and external paved road network, small tanks, the security fence and the electric fence.

First Bird Park in Sri Lanka
Welcome to the first Bird Park in Sri Lanka, home to a breathtakingly splendid collection of feathered friends from regions around the world such as the Amazon rain forest in South America, Tropical Asia, Australia and Africa. Our colorful range of birds on public display includes the largest species collection of exotic parrots in the country. Visit us to interact with some of the most intelligent, precocious, rare and magnificently multi-hued members of the parrot family. The Bird Park is also the only public facility in Sri Lanka where you can experience the magic of the rainforest “Lories”. Our collection of birds are housed in spacious enclosures designed with the objective of recreating an environment that closely resembles the natural habitat, thus, the Bird Park is the one facility in Sri Lanka where you will enjoy the unforgettable experience of observing the splendor of the winged marvels of nature in their true element and full glory.

Water World Kelaniya, Only Public Aquarium in Sri Lanka with Underwater Tunnel
Welcome to Water World Kelaniya, the only public aquarium in Sri Lanka! Located on a scenic 5 acre property on the banks of the Kelani River, Water World is an quatic wonderland which is home to a diverse collection of over 500 varieties of fish and invertebrates. Our unparalleled range of aquatic life includes fresh water, marine and brackish water fauna and flora, from eco systems around the globe. At Water World, you will witness rare and fascinating species such as Arapaima (The largest fresh water fish in the world), Lung fish (A fish that has real “lungs” like that of a human), Electric eel (The world's most dangerous electricity generating fish) and Fresh water sting rays from the Amazon River.Water World is truly unique as it is the only local facility that offers the thrilling experience of observing majestic sharks and graceful eagle rays in action. Water World comprises impressive attractions such as over 150 display tanks and ponds with a total water capacity of over one million litres, a walk path built to look like a cave spanning of over 800 feet, a Shark Dome with 110,000 litres of sea water, and over 10,000 living aquatic organisms. Other attractions of Water World include, live diving shows with the sharks (Only when suitable diving conditions exist) riding boats at boat yard, hand feeding of fish and getting a hands on experience of marine creatures at the “ Touch Pool”. Given our belief in the importance of the corporate social responsibility, Water World offers free entrance to all differently abled visitors. A visit to Water World is likely to prove much more than the perfect, fun-filled family outing. It is guaranteed to be both a memorable educational experience and as well as an enthralling encounter with the wonders of the aquatic world.

SriLankan Airlines to Get 13 Airbus Aircraft with 7 A350s
State-run SriLankan Airlines will acquire seven Airbus A350-900 and six A330-300 aircraft to upgrade its product and cut costs starting from October 2014, chief executive Kapila Chandrasena said. SriLankan will acquire 10 aircraft from Airbus through a mix of operating and finance leases in a deal which has a 'present value' of 1.2 billion US dollars and another three from an aircraft leasing firm, he said. Cabinet approval has been given to sign a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for 10 purchase options and the first aircraft is expected to arrive starting from October 2014, he said. The aircraft are to be delivered over 7 years. In the first phase six Airbus A340 aircraft which are up to 18 to 16 years old will be replaced by A330-300 aircraft. Seven A330-200 aircraft which are around 13 to 16 years old will be replaced starting from 2017 with A350-900 aircraft. Three will come from an aviation leasing firm as there were no manufacturing slots available at Airbus in that period. The balance four A350s will be acquired from Airbus Industries starting from 2019. SriLankan was aiming to maintain a fleet with an average age of about five years. SriLankan has already modernized its A320 narrow body fleet of eight aircraft. With several very old aircraft in the fleet, the airline could not give the same level of service to all passengers and operating costs were also high. "If you look at our configurations we could not standardize service," Chandrasena said. "With the new aircraft everyone will get the same experience. Fuel is 50 percent of our operating costs. With newer aircraft fuel is about 40 percent. That is a huge quantum of savings." Even after accounting for acquisition costs, a net gain of 7 to 10 percent could be made with new aircraft, he said. The aircraft will be financed with a mixture of finance and operating leases. Industry practice was to have about 30 percent on finance leases, Chandrasena said. Last year the airline made an operating loss of 20.5 billion rupees, according to published data. The new aircraft would also be able to carry a full load of passengers without sacrificing cargo over long haul destinations, he said. Airbus will also give 31 million US dollars worth tools, equipment and training to set up aircraft maintenance and repair facility (MRO) for the new types. "We are also targeting the regional airlines that will be an additional revenue stream for SriLankan as well." Sri Lankan Engineering is already servicing A320 aircraft for a number of regional airlines at its facility in Katunayake. A second facility is to be set up in Mattala.

Kottuville, Sri Lanka's First Food Truck
The clatter of knives on hot iron is a sure indication that dinnertime has arrived, and kottu is what’s on the menu. Kottu is a Sri Lankan invention of chopped roti, spices, and fried vegetables, with optional add-ons of egg and meat. Eaten by most locals several times a week, the iconic dish now has wheels, thanks to a group of up-and-comers in Colombo who just launched Sri Lanka's first food truck. Kottuville co-owner and director Rukmankan Sivaloganathan calls kottu “the classic Sri Lankan comfort food,” but until now it’s been available only in casual street-side restaurants where hygiene is, at best, barely adequate. So he and his partners decided to change the way people ate kottu—standardizing the cooking process, adding varieties such as paneer and sausage, parking near office buildings at lunchtime, and serving it in Chinese takeaway-style containers to eat on the go. “Everyone in Sri Lanka eats kottu—it’s the most egalitarian dish in the country,” Sivaloganathan says. “We're just making it better by focusing on hygiene, creating variety, and of course making it mobile.”

Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals Up 11.6 - Pct in February
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 11.6 percent in February 2013 to 93,232 from a year earlier, helped by gains in Europe and East Asia, official data showed. Arrivals from Western Europe rose 13.7 percent to 43,635 with Britain growing 26.1 percent to 11,031 and Germany up 8.1 percent to 8,276. Arrivals from France rose 4.0 percent to 6,632, Netherlands was up 1.1 percent to 3,020 and Switzerland was up 27.1 percent to 2,980. Visitors from Eastern Europe rose 17 percent to 7,218 with Russian arrivals up 9.6 percent to 3,286 and from Ukraine 2,788 up 38.7 percent. Visitors from the Middle East rose 5.8 percent to 3,887. East Asian arrivals rose 22.7 percent to 12,589 led by an 89.1 percent increase in Chinese visitors followed by Japan at 2,676 up 14.1 percent.
Sri Lanka's tourist authorities and the industry has been pushing for more tourists from China. In the first two months Chinese arrivals were up 57.9 percent to 6,145 from a year earlier. Malaysian visitors rose 27.9 percent to 1,973 while tourists from Singapore dropped 23 percent to 1,030 and those from Taiwan fell 67 percent to 262. Korean visitors also dropped 23.7 percent to 492. South Asian visitors rose only 2.5 percent to 15,897, with India Sri Lanka's largest generating market dropped 1.8 percent to 11,139. India became Sri Lanka's top tourist market after visas were dropped about decade ago, but they were re-imposed last year.

Greetings from Taj Samudra!

Dear Travel Partner,

Greetings from Taj Samudra!

We would like to take this opportunity to inform you that Taj Samudra is scheduled to undergo a product upgrade for certain areas of the hotel, with a view to offer a greater comfort to our valued guests. The work is scheduled to take place effective end April 2013 until mid October 2013. The official approval for the renovation project work schedule has been received by the hotel only last week.

The above renovation work has been scheduled between 0900 to 1800 hours every day, for some of the guest rooms, public areas and the bar , however we will ensure suitable accommodation arrangements at the hotel for our guests during this period, keeping in line with the required levels of peace and quiet. Some of the facilities in the hotel maybe relocated within the premise during the renovation period, but all facilities will operate for certain.

We will continue to update you on the work schedule and progress and would appreciate your understanding for any inconvenience thus caused during this period.

Sidath Colonne
Asst. Manager - Leisure

Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa Receives Four-Star Certification
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse recently awarded Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa with a fourstar certification. The hotel was audited in every aspect of its hardware and software skills by an eminent panel of auditors representing Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and industry professionals prior to being classified as a four-star tourist hotel.

The four-star rating achieved reflects that the hotel maintains an overall high quality of service standard and provides its guests superior comfort and quality accommodation together with a highly skilled staff.

At the ceremony, Minister Rajapaksa noted that there has been a steep development in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka with the arrival of nearly one million tourists in 2012. This has been the most number of tourist arrivals since the end of nearly three decades of unrest.

He also noted that as the tourist numbers are steadily rising there would be a greater demand for starrated hotels with superior facilities on the island. The minister predicted that by 2016, this number would increase to 2.5 million.

The minister projected that through the five-year tourism development plan that has been initiated, the tourism industry in Sri Lanka would be worth three billion dollars by 2016. This would result in 500,000 job opportunities associated with the industry and the construction of 50,000 hotel rooms.
“We are pleased to receive this certification as Sri Lanka is gearing up to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia,” said Sanjeeva Perera.
“To keep up with the demand of tourists arriving on our shores, our aim at Chayya Tranz Hikkaduwa is to create unmatched and memorable experiences for our customers and give them an unforgettable holiday experience,” he said.

Chaaya Tranz Hikkadwa also obtained certifications for adopting focused environmental system, stringent hygiene, food and safety practices, as well as international occupational health and safety management systems recently.

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Cable Cars For The Hill Country

Lalith Ekanayake Runner up of Wexas International Wild life Photography Competition

The Management of the Galle Face Hotel is pleased to inform you with regard to the refurbishment of the Classic Wing beginning from Apr 2013.

Dear Travel Trade Partner,

The Management of the Galle Face Hotel is pleased to inform you with regard to the refurbishment of the Classic Wing beginning from Apr 2013.

This extensive refurbishment is planned for appx 24 months and will be carried out in stages, and will cover the Banquet halls, Restaurants and rooms in the Classic Wing.

The Galle Face Hotel will be operating the Regency Wing rooms (Appx 80) during this period and also add 02 F & B outlets by the end of Jun 13 for our valuable clients.

Please find attached letter with further details and we will keep you updated with regard to the refurbishment in due course.

We look forward to your generous support to us as always.

Thank you

Denham Fonseka
Asst.Director Sales
Galle Face Hotel

Click Here To Read...

Deepawali Hindu festival
The Festival of Lights or Deepawali which is commonly known by many is one of the most important times of the year for Hindus. Surrounding all the family members it is a very inspiring occasion as they prepare their homes to welcome Goddess Lakshmi by lighting many oil lamps washing the area in its golden hue. The oil lamp acts for the symbolic meaning of the triumph of good over evil, and fire crackers for the chase away the demon spirits. It is a joyful moment where the bonds of the family get stronger and little blossoms fill themselves with sweet delicacies.

Leopard cub gazing at Yala National Park
This is the best time to enjoy the cuddly leopard cubs’ emergence to the world of wild wild life. Beyond the leopard skin you will only see the peak of innocence as the proud mother watches the young cubs at childlike play. The leopard milksops are one of the rare and beautiful moments at Yala National Park so join us as to explore the beauty inside the thicket.

Whale and dolphin watching
Interested in Whale and Dolphin watching? Well come to Sri Lanka and be amazed as the intelligent fish swim past you waving their big tail in a friendly gesture. Sri Lanka has become one of the coolest spots to watch the Whales and Dolphins since our coastline falls within a main whale and dolphin migration route. There are many places and options to see whales and dolphins in Sri Lanka, they are; • East coast of Trincomalee, • Remote locations in Alankuda beach in Kalpitiya, • Mirissa, • Dondra point down south, Apart from the above, there have been Whale and Dolphin sightings in the western coastal cities of Alutgama, Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa. So why don’t you add some sweet memories of this sociable creatures while you are engrossed in Sri Lankan beauty.

Hikkaduwa Beach Fest
During the Month of July/August the annual Hikkaduwa Best feast takes flight. Mainly organized by the Sri Lankan Tourist Board, is able to draw large crowds from Colombo and even overseas. So haven’t heard this event, just flow the blast of music extravaganza and the fluttering of the flags as this three day event takes places. The highlights of these events include massive beach parties, live music and even the chance of a few Jazz sessions on the beach. A fabulous weekend for the young and the wild as the Hikka drummer blast their way with long Rave parties and celebrations.

Sloth Bear Season in Yala and Wasgamuwa
Sloth bears are very much big game in Sri Lanka, exclusively. Even though they can be found in the subcontinent, but to able to see these creatures in their natural habitat and get a glimpse of them, take a trip down to Yala. Another way to spot them is in the Wasgomuwa National Park. Their favourite food being Palu (Ironwood Tree), a tall beautiful textured tree , which is in season during the months of June & July, is an ideal time to spot these bears. Remember to pack your camera and to snap a shot as you cruise around the parks and with plenty of berries, they have been reports of them showing inebriation from gorging themselves on the Palu.

Wesak Poya
On the full moon Poya day in May, Buddhists from across the Island and even worldwide celebrate this most special event “Vesak”. Handmade Lanterns, bright colours of lights and Pandals dazzled the houses, villages and cities. For this special month, Buddhist celebrates the life of Lord Buddha, his birth, enlightenment and also his passing away. It is a festival that is celebrated with such enthusiasm and elaborated preparations. Though this festival celebration might vary in different countries, but the main purpose remains the same. The Vesak day is announced by following the lunar calendar. These radiant colours and decorations tell a story, the life story of Lord Buddha. It also attracts many visitors to many locations that seem to showcase huge lanterns with such considerable design styles and patterns.

Surfs Up in Arugam Bay, South East Coast
As being listed as one of the top ten surf spots in the world Arugam bay offers a complete package deal for all types of surfers, during the month of May known as the ‘surfing season’. So SURFERS be prepared with your surfboards to experience surfing like no other. At Whiskey point, the baby waves are perfect for beginner surfers, while for experienced surfers, the Pottuvil point situated on a deserted beach north of Arugam Bay is ideal. One of the most important aspects is the complete remoteness to the location and simply laid-back lifestyle that takes you away from the main tourist haunts, where waves can go up to 5-6ft and up to 400 meter ‘ride’. The Crocodile Rock is another challenging surfing point for a surfer which is located south of Arugam Bay. So surfers, looking for way to chill out and hit some amazing waves, take the time to come down to the South East Coast of the Island and you might just get the thrill of a lifetime.

Snorkelling, Whale & Dolphin spotting in Trinco
Another major tourist attraction that has just bloomed up in Sri Lanka is Trincomalee. One of the largest towns in the East Coast and covered in some of the best white sand beaches in Asia. It remains to be one of the few places on the Island for spotting Dolphins and Whales. So if you’re a Dolphin and Whale watcher, take a trip to the east coast to be dazzled by these impeccable creatures. Take a chance to go on a boat trip to spot these wonder animals living in their natural habitat. Another activity that high in its rank is Snorkelling. The huge coral reef that cascade near the pigeon island is an ideal place for any traveller to go snorkelling. These beautiful decorated reefs is an ideal habitat for a large variety of marine life that you can glimpse including the varied number of colourful fishes and even be able to spot turtles if your luck.

Kitesurfing in Kalpitiya on the North West Coast
Just off the North West Coast of Sri lanka is nested the peninsula of Kalpitiya surrounded by the beautiful Indian ocean and the Puttalam’s lagoon. This makes this place an ideal spot for Kitesurfing which includes spots for both beginners and well experienced riders. So take a chance to surf just over the peacock blue sea and be able to skim the surface of the smooth lagoon. The best season for kitesurfing is during May to December, so book your calendar now for a smooth kitesurfing adventure. This also happens to be the location of the Sri Lanka Kite School catering all types of facilities to the participants. So want to learn kitesurfing and be able to enjoy the richness of this remote location, come down to North West coast for a peaceful yet thrilling adventure.

Butterfly Migration
To observe a spectacular natural event by the myriad of butterflies that happens to take flight towards the summit of Adam’s peak during the April month. The Summit is also known as the Samanala Kandy (Butterfly Mountain). The season of butterflies is the most amazing natural phenomena that take place. This mass cross-country migration of various species of butterflies has been observed by many visitors. The added mysterious to this natural event is the unbroken formation that is taken as these radiant colored butterflies takes to flight. Many view this migration of butterflies are like pilgrims paying homage to the heart of Sri Lanka while others believe they are simply overflow movements of insects due to the overcrowded caterpillars. For the fact that this natural event is shrouded in mystery certainly heightens the enjoyment and wonder of this spectacular migration.

Whales & Dolphins spotting in Mirissa
The island of Sri Lanka is most gracious enough to spot Whales and dolphins especially during the migration period between December and April. The chances of seeing these magnificent creatures are great during these months. Sperm and Blue whales have their migrating point off Dondra point and so Whale watching trips are arranged in a fully insured trawler boat which can last as long as 3 hours. While Spinner Dolphins can also be spotted off Dondra point, splashing their way which can be a spectacular moment for kids of all ages. Mirissa happens to be the closest point to Dondra point which has great accommodation and offers great packages to Whales and Dolphin watching. It provides all the necessities for the long travel including life jackets and accommodation. Mirissa Water sport, which is a charitable organization helping to generate employment for the affected tsunami survivors, have a great excursion packages and equipment for these trips including other sporting activities like sailing, fishing and coastal cruises for the entire family. So book your special trip during these months and experience these wonderful migration trips of one the greatest animals just off the shores of Sri Lanka.

Turtle Watching in Rekkawa
One of the most spectacular events of nature that happens right on the shores of Sri Lanka, don’t miss the chance to see these amazing turtles that been roaming this planet for about 190 million years. Be the first to experience and explore the secrets of these marine turtles. Just south of the coast of Sri Lanka, a nested small village of Rekawa, located between the intermediate and dry climatic zones and borders on a large saline lagoon surrounded by extensive mangrove forest. Rekawa beach is best known to be the nesting grounds for these ancient turtles. Five species of these amazing turtles visit these shores to lay and nest their eggs. Experience the true nature of life in a couple of hours to see these massive turtles lay their eggs and watch them in an all exciting night time adventure. From the beginning of Feb to the end of July, be prepared to be dazzled and marveled by the journey and life of one the most oldies creatures on earth. Make sure that you accompany the correct

tour operator companies'

service that will provide the supreme travel tour packages and the best travel tour guide who will make your holiday in Sri Lanka memorable and wonderful

Ayubowan! Sri Lanka - 35th News Edition

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Let us present to you the 35th Sri Lanka news edition – Ayubowan! Sri Lanka!

- Ayubowan!
Sri Lanka

Click Here To Read...

Season of Adam’s peak
The Adam’s peak pilgrimage season has begun. It’s one of the most popular peaks in Sri Lanka that welcomes large number visits throughout a solid six months period. The pilgrimage season for Adam’s peak begins from the Unduvap (December) full moon poya day to Wesak (May) full moon poya day, which is also a special day of remembering the birth, death and enlightenment of Lord Buddha. If you happen to visit that area, you will be amazed at the large crowd, who trek up through the illuminated path to worship the foot print. Buddhists believe it is the foot print of Lord Buddha, which has been placed during one of his personal visits to our isle. Hindu’s who have also venerated the place for a millennia, believes that the depression mark of the foot print is related to the Creative Dance of Lord Shiva, while the Muslims believe the foot print is a cause of Adam’s punishment which made him stand on the on one leg. Whatever the cause may be, it is a harmonious pilgrimage site that gives an ultimate pleasure at the end of the entire journey.

Vivanta by Taj Bentota, Sri Lanka - renovation update VI


We are pleased announce that our newly renovated lobby & lounge are now opened. Stylishly spirited the new lobby & lounge is defiantly a promises to deliver a premium resort experience with imagination, energy and efficiency.


In addition to the above the resort launched its first phase of new rooms located on the 3rd floor to the 5 floor directly connecting to the new lobby and the fitness center.
Live at Vivanta the guest could choose from Superior Charm rooms and if the mood sets for more…… Premium Indulgence rooms with alternate views ,LCD televisions , treat yourself cabinets , rest easy menus to relax or reinvigorate.
Deluxe Delight , Deluxe Allure Suites , Premium Temptation Suites and Presidential Nirvana suite’s are being renovated and will be added to the inventory in phases and to be fully operational by 1st April 2013.


The Pool renovation would be completed by mid December 2012.Until such time we have made arrangements for our guest to use the pool facilities at Avani Bentota resort approximately 5-8 mnts walk from Vivanta Bentota. Addition to the above the newly designed Lobby Bar & the All day dining (Coffee Shop) would be completed by mid December offering our guest an international food and beverage experience in a contemporary resort ambience.

Sri-Lanka Best Place to Visit 2013

World’s most renowned and largest travel guide book and digital media publisher –“The Lonely Planet” has named Sri Lanka as number one destination in the world to visit in year 2013.

The travel experts and the voters have predicted that Sri Lanka will be on the top of the hottest new holiday destinations for the travelers in year 2013. Under the title ‘Serenity returns to Serendib “ the travel guide raves destination Sri Lanka describing the multi-faceted experiences the traveler can look for in this small Island , fused with novelty and indulgence.

“Dubbed Serendib -the origin of the word serendipity “ by seafaring Arab traders centuries ago, Sri Lanka has been anything but serene in recent decades. …South Asia's most compact country have remained off limits to even the most intrepid traveller. .…investment is again fuelling the tourist industry and visitor numbers are steadily increasing. Prices are affordable. Indeed, Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the planet's best-value destinations & ffollowing Sri Lanka on the list of countries to visit were Montenegro, South Korea, Ecuador and Slovakia.

The travel guide book highlights the emerging new popular places to visit in Sri Lanka including the newly opened up East coast and less travelled paths in the western coast as well : “North of the capital Colombo, on Sri Lanka's west coast, Kalpitiya and the Puttalam lagoon are Eco-tourism hot spots with bird watching and kayaking. Near Dondra Head, on the south coast, mighty blue whales are regular visitors from January to April while land-based wildlife thrills include the leopards and elephants of Yala National Park, and the more rugged and remote Wilpattu National Park, open once more after being closed for more than two decades “

Very Important Notice


Dear All,

Please be informed with the new government regulation, all clients who wish to get married in Sri Lanka are requested to submit the following documents .

The civil certificate
Divorced certificate
National identity card

These documents must be certified by their respective local government offices to approve the marriage certificates by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Please pass on this information to persons handling weddings to avoid further complications since the Ministry has clearly mentioned that the marriage certificates will not be approved if the documentation is not in order.

Clients are also requested to present themselves (either bride or bridegroom) at the Foreign Ministry

Arugambay Beach Fest
Kick away your flip-flops and dance on the foamy waves or keep on your flip-flops and see the surf pros at their peak. Listed as one of the Top ten surf spots in the world, the name “Arugambay” has created waves in the fashion world and also in the surf world. During the holiday Season Arugambay has already become the annual hot spot for young surfers brimming with youthful vibes. There are several famous break points that have dispersed their breaking levels serving to the surfing guy inside each and every person. `Surf Point’ that breaks in front of Arugambay is ideal for body surfing and the beginners. Pottuvil Point is best for more experienced surfers and crocodile rock is one of the best challenging surf points for surfers who needs a challenge. These are just some of the points out of many varieties. Why don’t you head over here now to feel the Arugambay Thrills?

Kandy Parade (Esala Perahara)
This calendar event is one to be hold, as it presents so much traditional and historical aspect, it is one event that should not be missed. This happens to be a collaboration of two, the Esla and Dalade. Comprising of Five processions organized by the Maligawa Perahara or also known as Perahara of the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic, which happens to be the most venerated Buddhist temple of Sri Lanka and also the Four shrines dedicated to the Hindu Gods and Goddess. It is a sight not be missed, filled with radiant colours of dances, drummers, Whip Crackers, flag bearers and the graceful elephant robed and illuminated proudly to carry the golden casket called Ransivige containing the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. The timings of the Kandy Perahara are notified by booming cannon fire which can be heard throughout the city of Kandy. It signifies so much pride as each individual positing is ranked with position and such heritage that is showcased in this event

1-7 июня Шри-Ланка отмечает праздник Посон Поя
Фестиваль полнолуния Посон Поя (Poson Poya) является вторым по значимости праздником Поя для буддистов Шри-Ланки. Праздник носит большое историческое и религиозное значение. В этот день в 247 году до н.э. Буддизм пришел на Шри-Ланку в качестве основной религии. Сын короля Ашоки, Архата Махинда, был послан своим отцом на Шри-Ланку с целью привезти Буддизм в страну. Во время встречи с королем Шри-Ланки Деванампиятиссой на горе Михинтале, Архата Махинда произнес свою проповедь-посвящение. С этого момента Михинтале является самым древним Буддистским святилищем, к которому сходятся толпы паломников. Хотя Посон отмечается на всей территории Шри-Ланки, основные обряды проходят в Анурадхапуре и Михинтале. Длинные очереди паломников, одетые в белое поднимаются к вершине холма Михинтале, посещают храм, а затем дагобы. Во время Посон все храмы страны заполняются верующими и паломниками, которые проводят целые сутки в спокойном созерцании. Остальные люди собираются у подножия храма после захода солнца, там они читают священные книги и слушают проповеди монахов о жизни Будды. Массовые религиозные обряды (Сил, Бодхи Пуджа, Дансала), а также многочисленные пандолы, бумажные фонари и веселые конкурсы являются частью торжеств. Во время фестиваля Посон, как правило, запрещена продажа алкоголя и мяса. Само полнолуние в этом году выпадает на 4 июня. Праздничная неделя продлится с 1 по 7 июня. С 3 по 5 июня в Михинтале пройдет церемония Алока Пуджа. Шествие Михинду Перахера состоится 3 июня. Перахера начнется возле университета Раджарата и пройдет через Исуру Уйяна Мавата (Isuru Uyana Mawatha) по пути к Михинтале.

В Полоннаруве построят новый курорт
В минувшую субботу состоялась торжественная церемония закладки первого камня курорта Михимет Холидей (MihiMeth Holiday) в Полоннаруве. Трехэтажный отель сможет предоставить 500 комфортабельных номеров для местных и иностранных туристов, посещающих священный город. Главным гостем церемонии закладки камня стал Президент Шри-Ланки Махинда Раджапакса.

В Канди и Нувара Элия появятся внутренние аэропорты
Министерство гражданской авиации приняло решение о создании двух внутренних аэропортов в Канди и Нувара Элия. Для строительства аэропорта в Канди уже выделена земля в Кундасале. Для определения подходящих земельных участков под аэропорт в Нувара Элия был создан специальный комитет, куда вошли высокопоставленные должностные лица. Скоро они представят на рассмотрение Министерства соответствующий доклад. Между тем, в Министерстве гражданской авиации отметили популярность внутренних полетов в Восточную провинцию. Три внутренних аэропорта в Ампара, Баттикалоа и Тринкомале также будут полностью модернизированы, что позволит выполнять рейсы более эффективным образом.

Провинция Ваямба станет крупным туристическим центром Шри-Ланки
Управление Ваямба (Wayamba) разработало план развития провинции как туристического центра. Подготовлена специальная программа для привлечения туристов в Ваямбу, где так много красивых и интересных мест. Управление по развитию туризма Шри-Ланки (SLTDA) даже организовало целый курс лекций по подготовке гидов. Обучение проходило в Институте туризма и гостиничного менеджмента Шри-Ланки (SLITHM) в Курунегала. В провинции Ваямба находятся такие исторические места, как Анурадхапура, Сигирия, Полоннарува и Дамбулла. Туристы, приезжающие в Шри-Ланку просто обязаны увидеть их своими глазами.

Отелю “Galle Face” исполняется 150 лет
Galle Face Hotel в центре Коломбо, старейший отель страны, празднует свое 150-летие. В честь самых больших достижений отеля за последние несколько лет был организован грандиозный коктейль. Почетными гостями этого гала - мероприятия стали сотрудники посольств, государственные служащие, работники корпоративного сектора, представители туристических агентств и средств массовой информации и многие другие. С 2009 по 2011 гг. Galle Face Hotel стал обладателем нескольких высших наград за лучший отель наследия и лучший бизнес-отель, в их числе: Presidential Award, Sri Lanka Tourism Award, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Award, World Travel Award. Под эгидой Galle Face Group была произведена реконструкция всех отелей, которые входят в эту корпорацию. В частности были отремонтированы: отель Safari в Тиссамахараме, отель Lake в Полоннаруве, отель Surf в Бентота и еще двенадцать курортов по всей стране. Теперь все эти отели являются отелями звездного класса.

В отеле Heritance Kandalama появится «зеленый» конференц-центр
Heritance Kandalama, известный как просто Kandalama, является одним из самых обсуждаемых отелей в гостиничной индустрии Шри-Ланки. С момента своего открытия в 1994 году, о нем было опубликовано сотни статей. Ярким нововведением отеля в ближайшее время станет появление самого экологически чистого "Конференц-центра" в Шри-Ланке с видом на всю Кандаламу, водоем и горы. Это будет первый «зеленый» конференц-центр в Азии. Heritance Kandalama широко известен как 5-звездочный курорт, который положил начало экологическому туризму в Шри-Ланке. Он является самым награждаемым отелем Шри-Ланки, и был удостоен звания лучшего 5-звездочного курорта на острове четвертый год подряд. Отель Kandalama является одним из творений всемирно известного архитектора Джеффри Бава. Да и само место является уникальным. В лесу, где склоны гор спускаются навстречу равнине, которая тянется на север и переплетается с богатой растительностью и искусственными озерами, в обители птиц и диких животных, и находится Kandalama. Кроме того, этот отель, длина которого между прочим 1 км, расположен примерно в 170 км к северу от Коломбо, между двумя памятниками мирового наследия ЮНЕСКО: с одной стороны - храм Дамбулла (1 век до н.э.), с другой - крепость Сигирия (5 век н.э.). Отель рассчитан на 162 номера и имеет три плавательных бассейна, один из которых с натуральной водой, а также три ресторана и два бара с панорамным видом на Сигирию. К услугам клиентов также: Аюрведический центр здоровья, теннис, бильярд, верховая езда, каноэ, катание на слонах, наблюдение за птицами, пешеходные и велосипедные туры, и даже полеты на воздушном шаре.

Форт Матара: дыхание Голландского Цейлона
Матара - название в честь реки Nilwala, которая течет через этот шумный прибрежный город, расположенный на юге страны. Известный как древняя цитадель доколониальной Шри-Ланки, город славится обилием голландской архитектуры. Из всех наиболее известных построек является Матара Форт, которая считается второй по значимости крепостью в Южном Приморье во время голландского господства на Шри-Ланке. По некоторым данным, португальцы построили этот форт еще в 1595 году. Однако, крепость, которая стоит сейчас была построена голландцами в 1645 году и передана англичанам в 1796 году. Крепостной вал и ворота, построенный из известняка, гранита и кораллов хорошо сохранились. А вот южный бастион был снесен, чтобы облегчить подступ к городу со стороны моря. Впоследствии, на вершине оставшегося вала возвели башенные часы. Во время эпохи голландского правления в помещениях форта хранили корицу и пальмовые орехи, здесь располагался пороховой склад и загон для слонов. В настоящее время внутренняя часть форта усеяна множеством зданий и домов, старых и новых, а по запутанной сети асфальтированных дорог туда - обратно носятся люди и транспортные средства. С левой стороны, сразу возле входа в форт, расположена детская площадка - считается, что деревья вокруг были посажены в свое время голландцами. Следуя дальше по улицам, которые отходят от главной дороги, можно увидеть различные правительственные здания. Некоторые из них были построены заново, а некоторые, например такие, как Мировой суд, Верховный суд и здание Полиции, могут похвастаться историей, насчитывающей более 200 лет. После восстания в Матара в 1762 году, для укрепления защиты города был построен Star Fort. Причем построен он был в форме звезды, что оправдывает его название. В настоящее время здесь находится музей археологии Матара. Самое старое здание форта – Голландская Реформаторская Церковь, необычное здание, расположенное у входа, которое было построено голландцами и имеет историю, насчитывающую около 300 лет. Двери и окна изготовлены из прочного дерева, а вот стены уже начинают рушиться, и для их восстановления в Шри-Ланке пока не могут найти подходящую смесь. Внутри находятся надгробия 1600-х годов, считается, что там захоронены представители знатных общин и влиятельные люди того времени. Углубляясь в Форт можно встретить много старинных построек. Большинство из них принадлежало видным офицерам голландской армии - в свое время это были роскошные дома, а теперь в них образовались трещины, со стен облетает штукатурка, краски со временем выцвели. Удивительные особняки, ранее принадлежавшие аристократическим семьям Шри-Ланки, теперь используются под храмы. Некоторые дома были отремонтированы, другие заброшены и забыты, в то время как по всему Форту строятся уже современные дома. Вернувшись обратно к входу, и поднявшись всего на несколько ступенек на крепостной вал, можно увидеть весь город Матара - город шума и суеты. Спустившись, можно прогуляться по побережью, и посмотреть «Упосатагарию» (Uposathagarya) - здание собрания духовенства, расположенное на крошечном островке, связанном мостом с фортом. Обернувшись, еще раз пробегите взглядом по всему Форту, полюбуйтесь и запомните это место, которое навсегда останется неотъемлемой частью города Матара.

Earl’s Regency Hotel
Earl’s Regency является одним из лучших отелей Шри-Ланки международного уровня. Отель расположен в 5 км от королевской столицы - города Канди, в пригороде Теннекумбура (Tennekumbura), он построен среди захватывающих горных пейзажей в непосредственной близости к реке Махавели и предлагает размещение достойное королевской семьи. За счет прекрасного вида на реку и на горные хребты, Earl’s Regency Hotel является идеальным местом для отдыха и посещения многочисленных памятников истории и культуры в округе Канди. Новое крыло отеля состоит из 82 номеров класса Де люкс, СПА-центра и ресторана с садом, а в главном здании находится еще один ресторан, бар и целый представительский этаж, где расположены 14 номеров Премиум класса, 2 мини Сьюта, 2 Джуниор Сьюта и 1 Маунтбаттен Сьют. На территории отеля есть также бассейн, конференц-зал, банкетный зал, магазины, экскурсионное борю, спортивный зал. В качестве развлечений Earl’s Regency предлагает теннис, водное поло, бадминтон, мини-гольф, сквош, карамболь и даже услуги натуралиста. А для самых маленьких клиентов есть детская площадка и детский бассейн. Адрес: Теннекумбура, Канди, Шри-Ланка Тел: +94 117 488288 Факс: +94 117 488988 Email: Web:

Sri Lankan Airlines Pro Surf 2012
Sri Lankan Arilines in collaboration with ASP is proud to launch Sri Lankan Airlines Pro Surf during the month of June. So surfing dudes, get your surf boards ready for an exciting ride through some of the most famous waves of Arugam Bay. This remote location is a great spectacle for both competitors and spectators. Last year, surfers in formation scored high points surfing these perfect waves. Sri lanka is best known for its vast spectacular beaches and to hold a World Title Event on the shores of Arugam Bay. Sri Lankan Airlines is always promoting Adventure and sports and is proud to be sponsoring these types of events and continue to do so. These events will carter all the needs for all the surfing fans to show off surfing techniques and skills.

COLOMBO: Club Hotel Dolphin has been bestowed with the prestigious HolidayCheck Award 2012 for being one of 99 most popular hotels worldwide in the ‘Beach Holiday’ category in January 2012. A part of the Serendib Leisure Group, it is the only hotel in Sri Lanka to win the HolidayCheck Award and HolidayCheck Top Hotel prize - both of which was awarded at the ITB, the world’s leading travel trade-show which was held early March 2012 in Berlin. The hotel is managed by Serendib Leisure Management, which is a subsidiary of the diversified Hemas Group of Companies. HolidayCheck officials cited “extraordinary performance exceeding guests’ expectations regarding great products and perfect service on a daily basis - an effort that reflects in hotel reviews” as the main criteria for the hotel’s selection. The HolidayCheck Award is awarded to the 99 most popular hotels worldwide. The winners were decided based on over 530,000 genuine reviews received in 2011. This accolade reaffirms the superior service levels provided by the hotel staff, which is the prime reason for the large number of repeat tourists who keep coming back to the hotel. Mr. Ranil de Silva, Managing Director – Serendib Leisure, commented on the accolade, “We are extremely delighted to be awarded the HolidayCheck 2012 Award and HolidayCheck Top Hotel prize under the ‘Beach Holiday’ category! Being chosen as a recipient of this award reaffirms the uniqueness of our resort property and our pursuit of excellence in guest relations. This award will ensure that Club Hotel Dolphin becomes the first choice as the best beach holiday destination in the world.” Club Hotel Dolphin is situated at Waikkal and is easily accessible from the international airport and the commercial capital of Colombo. The Hotel features two swimming pools, pool-side bars and a bar/lounge offering signature cocktails and cuisine. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a fitness facility, along with a host of indoor and outdoor activities. There is also a full-service health spa on-site. The property also has a well appointed business centre and 151 air-conditioned rooms and villas with all modern amenities.

Sri Lanka Expo 2012 in Colombo
An event that exposes a complete combination of exhibition, Trade & Investment Symposium, which showcases 300 stalls of quality products on a single platform. Not only does this event create awareness on the conduciveness investment but it also brings forth Sri Lanka’s image as a tourist destination. This event will provide exclusive access to the best selection of this Island’s exporters, product and its wide range of services. Sri Lanka Expo will showcase from Traditional to non-traditional products and services under one roof, with eminent international business leaders as keynote speakers. Over 1000 buyers can have the chance to discuss business, and strategic marking tips and even organize meetings and networking events. This event will also organize the Trade and Investment Symposium, in order to listen to renowned trade dignitaries and Sri Lankan business leaders to shed light on the global potential in trade and investment. So book your calendar during the month of March for this exclusive event organized by the Sri Lanka Export Department Board.

Sri Lanka Balloon Festival
To all fellow balloonist and friends, have you heard about this existing festival? Still don’t believe, wait till your eyes catches to the radiant colors of hot air balloons and don’t miss the chance to take a trip to the sky, starting in the warm month of March. A wonderful color festival is taken over by 80 international participants from all over the world to join here on this island for a two weeks excursion cum-tour. So if you’re in Colombo, you will not miss the chance to gaze at 22 hot air balloons soaring above at the height of a seven storey building. Sights that are remarkable to be hold and would be the exclusive fourth successive year for this festival, these events are organized by the Sri Lankan Tourism along with the Ceylon Airship and Balloon Club. One of the main highlights of this event will be when the balloons fly in formation with the fixed winged air craft’s.

Nuwara Eliya Holiday Season –Tea Festival
During the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, it’s a good idea to flock to the hills to escape the summer heat, and what’s better than visiting the proud and magnificent Nuwara Eliya. This holiday season is made to keep any visitor occupied during the April month and will engulf in a variety of activities. Highlights of the activities include Horse races, Motocross rallies, marathon, Art Exhibitions, Environmental Exhibitions, Flower Exhibitions, summer carnival, sporting events, concerts and not forgetting the Tea Festival highlighting the main product tea and its variety. And if you’re a golf fanatic, so get your gear in shape for there will be several tournaments held in this month including the Stableford Competition for Ladies and Gents. Many of these challenging tournaments will be held at the Nuwara Eliya Golf Course. So be prepared for the month of April for an action packed season in Nuwara Eliya.

Senses and Soul, Colombo Music Festival 2012
The best musical festival that will engulf every Sri Lankan in a mind blowing musical experience is ready to kick off on 24th of August 2012. This three day event will host for so many talents of various artists both Sri Lankan and around the world, that brings colourful fusion of genres for the ears of the lucky souls. Not only will it be the centre stage for a musical sensation, but also a turning point for upcoming artists who are being given the opportunity to showcase their talents. Colombo Music Festival is not only about classy musical performances but also an event that speaks to the mind by hosting workshops, discussions and master-classes. It is predicted that Colombo will have to endure unbearable melodious harmonies from around the globe that would definitely make an individual to experience one of THE best moments in his life. For more details:

В Шри-Ланке открылся Всемирный Буддийский Саммит
Во время открытия Всемирного Буддийского Саммита состоялась церемония благословения для всего мира Аширвада Пуджа (Ashirwada Pooja) по случаю празднования Sri Sambudaththwa Jayanth - 2600-й годовщины со дня просветления Лорда Будды. Главным гостем был Президент Шри-Ланки Махинда Раджапакса. Около 500 монахов из 29 стран, в том числе глава Всемирной Конференции Бхикку (World Bhikku Conference) Преподобный Лайяву Чуник Тера (Layavu Chunik Thera), а также монахи из Китая, Кореи, Японии, Индонезии, Таиланда, Индии, Англии и США и около 800 местных монахов участвовали в мероприятии. Для всех монахов по всему миру это значимое событие и возможность направить специальное послание всему буддийскому сообществу во время сезона Весак. Монахи пели молитвы (Pirith) в соответствии с традициями Тхеравады, Махаяны, Ваджраяны, а также по корейским традициям, и благословляли мир во всем мире. Президент Махинда Раджапакса вручил награды нескольким монахам, которые посвятили себя популяризации буддизма в мире. А на сцене было устроено красочное шоу, повествующее о различных буддистских событиях. Церемонии благословения Ashirvada Pirith прошли также в Шри-Далада Малигава (Sri Dalada Maligawa) в Канди, а также в священном Шри Маха Бодхи (Sri Maha Bodhi) в Анурадхапуре.

Самолеты SriLankan Airlines теперь будут летать на север страны
SriLankan Airlines начинает осуществлять рейсы на север страны и открывает свой филиал на полуострове Джаффна. Новый офис компании значительно облегчит планирование и организацию поездок для большинства клиентов в Джаффне и Килиноччи. Принимая во внимание увеличение спроса на воздушные перевозки в северный регион и обратно, новый офис расширит размер местного рынка авиакомпании. "Наша стратегическая задача - установить более тесное сообщение с каждым районом Шри-Ланки при помощи целой сети агентств по продажам, и я рад сообщить, что Джаффна стала одним из первых таких отделений " - заявил руководитель отдела маркетинга авиакомпании. Филиал SriLankan Airlines будет осуществлять бронирование и продажу билетов, предоставлять специальные услуги, информацию о тарифах, расписании и пакетах. В качестве агента по продажам SriLankan Airlines на севере страны будет выступать компания Metro Travels & Tours.

Новый отель Sheraton Colombo откроет свои двери в октябре 2013 г.
Компании Lanka Hotels & Residencies, Greenwater Resorts (Индия) и Eurocon Building Industries (ОАЭ) подписали контракт о совместном вложении 80 млн. долларов в строительство нового отеля "Sheraton" в Коломбо. Открытие отеля запланировано на октябрь 2013 года. Это будет первый всемирно известный международный гостиничный бренд на острове. В Colombo Sheraton будет 306 номеров, включая Presidential Suite и Luxury Suites, а также 4 ресторана. Сеть Sheraton Hotels и Resorts является флагманом бренда Starwood Group, и известна во всем мире своими роскошными отелями и курортами. Она использует девять международно - признанных брендов: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element SM. Все инвесторы этого проекта считают Шри-Ланку значимым развивающимся рынком в мировой индустрии досуга, гостеприимства и туризма, и планируют осуществлять инвестиции в эту страну и в дальнейшем.

Новый питомник для диких слонов
Три тысячи гектаров в районе Horowpathana были выделены властями для создания питомника для диких слонов. На этот проект планируется потратить 250 млн. рупий. Решение о строительстве питомника было принято с целью защитить и сохранить слонов по всей стране. Такая необходимость возникла после того, как более сотни этих животных погибли в результате различных конфликтов, в том числе и с участием человека. Дикие слоны из различных районов страны будут доставлены в этот питомник. Их приручат и снова отпустят на свободу в леса. Питомник будет открыт для посетителей, и полученные доходы пойдут на содержание слонов. Пища для животных будет закупаться у фермеров близлежащих районов, тем самым планируется повысить уровень жизни населения и обеспечить фермеров рынком сбыта. Согласно прошлогодним данным, в Шри-Ланке насчитывается 5879 слонов, из которых 1107 маленьких слонят.

В Буддистском Культурном Центре появится вегетарианский ресторан
Буддистский Культурный Центр откроет вегетарианский ресторан в Коломбо для популяризации важности потребления вегетарианской пищи. Открытие ресторана состоится до наступления полнолуния Поя. Известный факт, что на сегодняшний день все больше людей в мире, в том числе и на Западе, призывают к вегетарианству. Шри-Ланка не стала исключением. К тому же, традиционная Шриланкийская кухня богата многочисленными рецептами здоровой натуральной пищи. И теперь туристы будут иметь возможность насладиться вегетарианскими блюдами без каких-либо проблем.

Шри-Ланка развивает торговые отношения со странами BRICS
Цейлонская Торгово-Промышленная Палата подписала соглашение с Палатой Экономического Развития стран BRICS (экономический блок, куда входят Бразилия, Россия, Индия, Китай и Южная Африка). Новое соглашение будет способствовать продвижению товаров и услуг этих стран на взаимовыгодной основе. Шри-Ланка будет поставлять на рынки стран BRICS одежду, драгоценные камни и ювелирные изделия, резину и каучуковую продукцию, специи, чай и туристические услуги. В свою очередь, страны альянса будут снабжать рынок Шри-Ланки косметикой, бриллиантами, изумрудами, продуктами и напитками, свежими апельсинами, медицинским оборудованием, фармацевтической продукцией и также туристическими услугами.

Стратегия развития туризма Шри-Ланки
Туризм играет важную роль в развитии мировой экономики, повышая жизненные стандарты населения во многих странах. Туризм открывает новые рынки и инвестиционные возможности, в то время как люди все чаще путешествуют по миру. Особенно туристов притягивают страны, обладающие какой-либо уникальностью, будь то чудо природы или чудо архитектуры. Среди последних глобальных тенденций важную роль играет «зеленый туризм» - сознательный выбор в пользу тех мест, где охраняют окружающую среду, тем самым улучшая общественное благосостояние. Около 34% мировых путешественников сегодня готовы заплатить больше ради того, чтобы остановиться в экологическом отеле. В Шри-Ланке большое количество бутик-отелей и вилл, которые завоевали внимание мировой общественности своим опытом в сфере эко-туризма. Многие гостиницы используют возобновляемые источники энергии, экономят воду, утилизируют отходы и готовят еду на био-массе, полученной из переработанных материалов. Некоторые отели, например, предлагают своим гостям посадить дерево в память о пребывании в этом отеле. Интересно, что каждому дереву присваивается номер и за его ростом можно следить в интернете. Именно в этом контексте министром экономического развития страны Басилем Раджапакса был предложен 5-летний план развития туризма. Его стратегия построена на 3 основных концепциях: Во-первых, полностью избегать негативного воздействия на окружающую среду в любой деятельности по развитию туризма. Во-вторых, экономические выгоды от индустрии туризма должны быть разделены с большей частью общества. В-третьих, обеспечить приятное пребывание в стране для каждого туриста, с тем чтобы он не только с удовольствием еще раз приехал в Шри-Ланку, но и посоветовал это направление друзьям и родственникам. Современные туристы очень требовательны. Они предпочитают путешествовать на относительно недалекие расстояния и хотят увидеть побольше в рамках ограниченного бюджета. Шри-Ланка является идеальным сочетанием аутентичности, компактности и разнообразия. В Шри-Ланке вы найдете пляжи, как на Мальдивах или Маврикии; древнее историческое наследие, как в Египте или Греции; тропические леса, как в Конго или на Амазонке; искусство и культуру, как в Таиланде; водопады, как в Замбии или Канаде; дикую природу, как в Кении; природную красоту, как в Швейцарии; драгоценные камни, как на Мадагаскаре; специи, как в Индии; и фестивали, как в Китае или Бразилии. Вряд ли где-то еще вы сможете найти все это в одном месте. И даже если и сможете, то охватить все в течение нескольких дней у вас точно не выйдет. Шри-Ланка, пожалуй, единственная страна, которая делает это возможным.

Haridra Resort & Spa
С древних времен Шри-Ланка славилась аюрведическим лечением, и для этого всегда были специально отведенные места. Наиболее известным местом для аюрведических процедур была деревня Weda Duwa. Теперь это место называется Wadduwa. Среди ведущих хранителей традиций называют "Haridra Resort & Spa " - эксклюзивный бутик-отель, расположенный на территории красивейшего пляжа Wadduwa. Отель словно создан для знатоков курортного отдыха и для уставших от суеты деловых людей, понимающих всю прелесть тишины и покоя в сочетании с традиционной Шри-ланкийской аюрведической терапией. Haridra может похвастаться стильным бассейном, потрясающим видом на Индийский океан, а также полностью оборудованным спа-центром, в котором работают лучшие специалисты Шри-Ланки. Haridra предлагает 16 номеров типа Garden Suites (с выходом в сад), 8 номеров Ocean Suites (с видом на океан) и 8 Mansion Suites (особняк с бассейном). Mansion Suites являются самыми роскошными апартаментами в Haridra. Меблированные словно для королей, они позволят гостям получить истинное наслаждение от королевской жизни. В настоящее время курорт "Haridra Resort & Spa " популярен среди русских, англичан, немцев и французов. В местном ресторане можно попробовать изысканную французскую кухню в исполнении шеф-повара Мапалагама, который к тому же еще и специалист по морепродуктам. Аутентичная кухня Шри-Ланки также пользуется популярностью среди клиентов. Сайт: E-mail: Тел: +94-38-228-56-10 Факс: +94-38-228-56-19

Refurbishment and reimaging of Chaaya Citadel Kandy
This is to inform you that Chaya Citadel Kandy will be subject to refurbishment and reimaging commencing summer 2012. The refurbishment will be in phases and the resort will continue to operate with limited inventory during this period, as detailed below. View the detailed report here

Sri Lanka to revise on line visa fee
The on-line visa that can be obtained through the ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) system will be implemented with effect of 31st December 2011. All those who wish to obtain a visa thereafter, will have to pay the relevant fees. For individuals who have already applied for their visas and received a Visa Approved Reference number using the ETA system prior to the 31st of December 2011, will not be charged for their visas as long as they arrive in the country within the visa validity period, of 90 days. Individuals who arrive after the 31st of December 2011 without a Visa Approved Reference number, will be able to attain an ‘on-arrival VISA’ at the relevant ‘on-arrival VISA fee’, visiting

Southern Expressway Opened
The first section of the Southern expressway was declared open on the 27th of November 2011. The opening of this expressway indicates a substantial reduction in travel time when travelling from the capital city to south western beaches. This new highway follows the initiation of the Hambantota International Port which opened last year. The government has also proposed the opening of a new international airport, ‘Mattala International Airport’ in the Hambantota district, suggesting drastic reductions in travel time between major tourist destinations, as well as efficient connectivity around the island.

Sri Lanka Calling Vol.03 - No.18

Sri Lanka Tourism Impresses at CITM

Greening Sri Lanka Shines in London

Wild wins at UNWTO showcasing Sri Lankas Leopards

Best Golf Course in Sub-Continent is in Sri Lanka

Motor Homes luxury on wheels for travellers

Avani Bentota Resort and Spa
Dear Partners,

I am pleased to forward the contents of a recent press release on Avani Bentota Resort and Spa for your perusal. I have also enclosed the image of a new superior room (base category) for your reference. We look forward to welcoming your guests soon.

Colombo, Friday 25 November 2011: Serendib Leisure in partnership with Minor International, today announced the opening of the first-ever Avani property – Avani Bentota Resort and Spa on Sri Lanka’s southern coast.

Commencing operations on 1st December 2011, Avani Bentota Resort and Spa, the former Hotel Serendib Bentota, has undergone an extensive Rs. 650 Mn. refurbishment and now exudes a contemporary ambiance. Located on the best beach strip along Sri Lanka’s western coastline, 64 kilometres from Colombo and 96 kilometres from the Bandaranaike International Airport, the new-look hotel offers the ultimate in relaxed comfort and contemporary style. Facilities include 75 guest rooms and suites, three bars and two restaurants, accompanied by private dining options on the beach. Complementing this is the chic Cigar and Wine Lounge, while meeting rooms seat up to 100 people.

This strategic move marks reputed hotel operator Serendib Leisure’s efforts to revamp its hospitality offering to cater to the constantly evolving needs of local and international travellers. This seamlessly blends with the Minor Hotel Group’s ambitious plans to launch their newest international hotel brand – Avani Resort and Spas, with the first hotel opening in Sri Lanka. The reputed Thailand-based hotel group operates the famed ‘Anantara’ brand of hotels, resorts and spas and is a significant player in the global hospitality industry.

The Avani Bentota Resort and Spa was originally designed by Sri Lanka’s celebrated architect Geoffrey Bawa, regarded as one of the most influential Asian architects of the 20th century. Although the refurbished property reflects a modern and chic ambiance, it still retains Bawa’s signature style and offers an inimitable Dutch-colonial charm.

Abbas Esufally, Chairman, Serendib Hotels PLC, commented, “The opening of Avani Bentota Resort and Spa is a defining step for Serendib Leisure. It demonstrates our capability to partner with a reputed hotel group of the calibre of Minor International, and, to deliver the superior hospitality experience guests seek globally. The ‘Avani’ experience will be one-of-a-kind. Its unique offering will carve out a distinct identity and enable us to partner a brand that spearheads a new ethos in the country’s hospitality sector. With the strong backing of Hemas, the holding company, Serendib Leisure properties have built a reputation of a superlative service offering. I am confident that our strategic partnership with Minor International and the ‘Avani’ brand will create further value for all our stakeholders.”

CEO of Minor Hotel Group, Dillip Rajakarier said, “We are excited about our decision to make Sri Lanka and the Serendib Leisure group hotel the launching pad for our new ‘Avani’ brand with the opening of the Avani Bentota Resort and Spa. Hotel Serendib’s existing brand equity, its unique architecture coupled with the sound credentials of the Serendib Leisure Group mirrored the synergy we were looking for. With Sri Lanka poised for a boom in tourism, this well-appointed property will offer the holiday experience that today’s discerning travellers are seeking.”

‘Avani’ stems from the Sanskrit word for ‘earth’ – a meaning which is expressed through a grounded personality and a clear sense of style. Avani’s service ethic further exemplifies its inspiring principles by placing a high value on a genuine welcome through staff who respond to each guest’s individual needs, thereby ensuring memorable and meaningful experiences. ‘Avani’ is bringing this philosophy to life, firstly in Sri Lanka, through the Avani Bentota Resort and Spa. The new-look beachside resort introduces sophisticated travellers to the country’s rich, natural and cultural beauty, and showcases a resourceful attitude with its dynamic new resort experience.

Managing Director, Serendib Hotels PLC, Ranil De Silva said that the launch of Avani Bentota Resort and Spa is a moment of celebration for all of Sri Lanka. “This is the first global hospitality brand to debut in peacetime Sri Lanka and thus marks a brand new era for the sector. We are confident that Avani will offer an irresistible appeal to our guests and keep them coming back for more of our exclusive concept.”

About Serendib Leisure:
Serendib Leisure Management is a subsidiary of the Hemas Group, one of the top diversified listed conglomerates in Sri Lanka with a focus on five key sectors – FMCG, Healthcare, Transportation, Leisure and Power. The company was also ranked fifth in a recent survey, as one of Sri Lanka’s most respected entities. Serendib Leisure owns and manages a wealth of hotels and resorts in several strategic tourist locations within Sri Lanka. Other hotels in the chain are Club Hotel Dolphin – Waikkal, Kani Lanka Resort and Spa – Kalutara (soon to be launched as Avani Kalutara Resort) and Hotel Sigiriya – Sigiriya.

About Minor International:
Avani is part of Minor Hotel Group (MHG), a hotel owner, operator and investor with a portfolio of 37 hotels and 36 serviced suites under the Anantara, Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Elewana, Oaks and Minor International brands in Thailand, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania, Kenya, UAE, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. Avani was created to complement MHG’s five-star Anantara brand, which currently offers enriching destination experiences in 17 locations, with a pipeline of 50 properties by 2015.


World Tourism Day Celebrations 27 -28 September 2011
Affiliated with

Russian Variety Dance
Russian Variety Dance on 15th & 16th September at Ceylon Continental Hotel

Heritance Hotels Wins Big at the National Green Awards
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.

Ms.Renusha Gomis
Manager, Public Relations and Promotions
Aitken Spence Hotels
T: 011 2308 112

BLUE WATER -WADDUWA Refurbishments 14 September - 31st October 2010

Dear Partners

Reference to the below mail please note herewith the update of the schedule work for your kind reference.

Admirals Room ( Buffet Restaurant ) & Port Hole Bar ( Cocktail Lounge & bar ) Enhancements @ The Blue Water.

The Scheduled plan is post pond and would not take place as mentioned below. Therefore note that guest facilities such as our Banqueting Facility ,All Restaurants & Bars , Conference Centre, pool, Spa Pavilion, beach are unaffected and will remain open for business as usual for months of September & October 2011.

Guest Room Upgrade At The Blue Water

The Room Upgrade would commence from 01st September and is scheduled to be completed as notified.

Dear Partners

Please find below the Update of the Refurbishment work scheduled for the month of September / October 2011 for your kind reference. Please note there would not be any refurbishment work scheduled for the months of July & August 2011.

Guest Room Upgrade At The Blue Water

In order to make our guest experience even more memorable at The Blue Water, we are pleased to inform you that we will be embarking on a remodelling of our rooms and Bath Rooms.

The project work is scheduled to commence on 16 Deluxe rooms ( on the ground floor ) & 2 Suites in the 'North Wing', The work is scheduled to be underway from the 1st September 2011 to mid October, 2011 which is an amendment to the original planed dates ( May & June 2011 ) due to unavoidable circumstances.

Acknowledging guest feedback, our newly furnished rooms will be styled with the legendary architecture in mind, encompassing luxurious, modern, comfortable, beach inspired designs.

The work would involve re furnishing , refresh the paint interior , replacing floor tiles , replacing bath room fittings , Repair of air conditioning equipment and systems , Ordinary electrical repairs . There would be no structural changes done to the rooms or the bath rooms.

Please note that all other guest facilities such as our Banqueting Facility ,Restaurants & Bars , Conference Centre, pool, Spa Pavilion, beach are unaffected and will remain open for business as usual.

Every effort will be made to keep the disturbance from the renovations to a minimum, with the main work being carried out from between the hours of 10am and 5pm during 6 days of the week (excluding Sundays).

Admirals Room ( Buffet Restaurant ) & Port Hole Bar ( Cocktail Lounge & bar ) Enhancements @ The Blue Water.

As we continue to provide the very best service and stay experience for our guests, This is to announce that the Admirals Room ( Buffet Restaurant ) & Port Hole bar ( Cocktails Lounge and Bar ) will be temporarily closed for enhancements from the 01st – 25th September 2011.

This work will have minor impact to our guests and the below restaurants & banquette facilities would be opened for our guests' services: The alternate location has an easy access to the guests and visitors of the hotel.

• The Grand Ball Room or the Sea Scape for Breakfast , Dinner & Seven Seas for Lunch ( Alternate To Admirals Room )

• Clipper bar ( 1000Hrs – 1900Hrs ), Sea Board Deck( 1000Hrs – Mid Night ) & Sun Set Terrace (1800Hrs – Midnight) - (Alternate to Porthole Bar )

The work would involve ordinary repairs such as refresh the paint Exterior and interior ,Replacement of glass/ window without altering the dimensions or framing of the original : Repair and replacement of duct work, Repair of air conditioning equipment and systems , Ordinary electrical repairs.

There would be no structural changes done to the admirals room and porthole bar.

Please note that all other guest facilities such as our Conference Centre, pool, Spa Pavilion, beach are unaffected and will remain open as usual.

Every effort will be made to keep the disturbance from the enhancements to a minimum, with the main work being carried out from between the hours of 10am and 5pm during 6 days of the week (excluding Sundays).

Kindly note all areas that are under refurbishment would be cordoned off and access points for the workers as well as transporting material would be away from guest access points.

Enclosed is a floor plan and areas highlighted in red are the locations under refurbishment.

For any further clarifications, please contact the undersigned.

Wish you a pleasant day
Chandima Wickremasinghe
Manager - Sales & Marketing

THE - BLUE - WATER Corporate Sales Office
No,2 Dharmaraja Mw
Off Alfread House Avenue
Colombo 3.
Direct : 00 94 (0) 602383392
Mobile : 00 94 (0) 773649290
Fax : 00 94 (0) 112583987


Images of Bodhi Pooja Oinori in Sri Lanka -Please forward to your friends, colleagues in Japan 東日本大震災追悼式ボーディ・プージャ

Ayubowan All Our Japanese Friends
We wish to inform you that we have conducted a Bodhi pooja ceremony at the historic Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple in Sri Lanka to invoke blessings towards the tsunami effected people in Japan. It was organized by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Sri Lankan Tourism industry members on 11th June 2011 the day that completed three months from tsunami incident. Please refer to the attachment.

スリランカ政府観光局・スリランカ観光業一同の協力のもと仏様が生前訪れたキャラニヤ寺で行いました 。


Ushan Edirisinghe

View-Bodhi Pooja Oinori For Japan

Chayya Tranz
Chayya Tranz -Hikkaduwa Reopening In November 2011

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russian Federation-Moscow Puwath- March 2011

We are pleased to inform you that due to scheduled refurbishments we are pleased to inform you that the below hotels will be not in operations for the period indicated .

Eden Resort & Spa - 1st May 2011 to 15th July 2011
Riverina Hotel -1st May 2011 to 15th December 2011
Club Palm garden -1st May 2011 to 15th December 2011

Areas Closed for renovations at BBH
Dear All,
Bentota Beach Peacock Restaurant ( Main Restaurant) will be closed for renovations commence from 06th September 2010 till 13th September 2010 (for a Week), Lounge Bar space will be utilized for dining and the Bar will be moved to the pub next to the Araliya Restaurant(Fine dining Restaurant ) until the renovation work completed, Further Deluxe category rooms 202 to 206, and Superior category rooms 102 to 106 will be closed for 03 Weeks from 20th September 2010 for the same purpose, thus 07 Deluxe rooms and 07 Superior rooms will remain for sale during the said period. This is for your information, and appreciate your assistance in communicating the above message to staff / tour operators concerned in order to mitigate guest complaints and confusion in reservations which may arise due to above event.
Thanks & Best Regards

Thiwanka Katipearachchi
Executive - Sales & Marketing
Keells Hotel Management Services Ltd.
130, Glennie Street, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka.
Tel : +94 (0) 11 2306600
Direct : +94 (0) 11 2306610
Fax : +94 (0) 11 2320862
Mobile : +94 (0) 77 2933753
E-mail : Website:

Dear Partner,


Jetwing sold its shareholding at Tropical Villas Hotel in Beruwela on 16th August 2010 to M/S LOLC Leisure Ltd. Jetwing developed this property from an uninteresting piece of land in 1993 and then went into partnership with Hayleys who subsequently bought a stake in the Hotel. As such it was certainly a difficult decision to make. However, emotions apart we at Jetwing feel the new majority owners are best equipped to add value to the property and to its associates who have in fact done a wonderful job as members of Jetwing doing all of us proud. Manager Cyril Fernando and his team will continue to service all your guests under the new Management. Cyril’s contact details will be, telephone +94 34 2276780/2, mobile: 94 773679894, e mail:
This transaction has been concluded with mutual understanding and benefit to both parties and accordingly JETWING will ensure that the transfer will be affected smoothly. All contract and/or commitments made by us with you shall be respected and discharged by LOLC Leisure. If you need any clarifications please get in touch with us.
We take this opportunity to thank you for your partnership and goodwill over the years and assure you that the friendship we have shared shall continue with our continued business relationship with other JETWING properties across the island.
As you may be aware JETWING is making several new investments in the South Coast as well as in exotic destinations on the East Coast of Sri Lanka as well as other excellent locations inland. All these ventures have the strategic intent of offering you our Partners the best leisure experiences that Sri Lanka can offer!
We shall look forward to serving you as we do always with a smile – AYUBOWAN!

Sincerely yours
Hiran Cooray
Jetwing Hotels Ltd