Jetwing Hotels bulks up in anticipation of Asian influx

JETWING Hotels will open seven new properties in Sri Lanka over the next three years to take advantage of the growing number of Asian visitors to the country.

According to Hiran Cooray, chairman, Jetwing Hotels, there were 333,023 Asian visitors to Sri Lanka last year, accounting for 38.9 per cent of total arrivals. Western Europe came in a close second, contributing 313,968 visitors.

“We will build exciting hotels where Jetwing is not already present, to tap the huge increase in inbound traffic from Asia,” he said, adding that India was the number one source market for Jetwing properties, while the South-east Asian and North Asian markets were growing exponentially.

The former Blue Lagoon in Negombo, designed by local architect Geoffrey Bawa in 1965 as the first purpose-built resort in Sri Lanka, is due to reopen as Jetwing Lagoon next month after undergoing a transformation. The four-star resort will offer 55 rooms and eight luxury villas, an outdoor pool, five dining outlets including a wine cellar, and a spa.

Jetwing Yala Safari will open in April 2013 with 66 rooms and 32 villas; Jetwing Colombo in April 2014 with 70 rooms and 28 serviced apartments; while Jetwing Yarl offering 76 rooms in Jaffna is already under construction.

Also in the pipeline are Jetwing Lake, Dambulla with 100 rooms; Jetwing Reef, Uppuveli offering 60 rooms and 20 villas; and Jetwing Kandy with 80 rooms.

Cooray plans to market the new properties through the Jetwing website and various online channels, advertising with travel trade publications, participation in overseas travel fairs, as well as through his business connections as PATA chairman.

Jetwing is also set to ramp up its distribution efforts by expanding partnerships with travel consultants and wholesalers, he added. Jetwing hosts fam trips for travel consultants in partnership with SriLankan Airlines on a regular basis.

Jetwing currently has 12 hotels in operation in Sri Lanka, representing some 520 rooms. The company also manages the 16-key Mai Chau Lodge in Vietnam, the 26-key Xiengthong Palace in Luang Prabang, Laos, and a 22-room four-star motel in Auckland, New Zealand.

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