London (PRWEB) — After recording an excellent year for its Sri Lanka programme, boosted by the ending of the Tamil Tiger conflict, Hayes & Jarvis has boosted its programme to the island in its new Indian Ocean Collection brochure for 2009/2010, just launched. A new island resort in the Maldives and more family and couple accommodation on Mauritius also feature in the brochure, while budget accommodation is offered to broaden the appeal of Dubai.
The long haul specialist says that it has now taken over the top spot as the leading UK operator to Sri Lanka and intends to consolidate this position by providing more tours and beach resort choice in the coming year. Hayes & Jarvis Programme Director Lesley Rollo said: “Sri Lanka benefited this year because it has offered great value for money, resulting in record bookings from families and couples who want to travel long haul but ensure that they pay the lowest possible price. Going forward, we have been careful to include tours and beach resorts that continue to offer good value at all levels.”
Two new short tours have been added to supplement the established Classic Ceylon tour. Cultural Kandy & Tea takes in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, the cultural attractions of Kandy and the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya (four days from £219pp). The second tour, World Heritage Sri Lanka, also includes Pinnawela and Kandy but additionally offers visits to some of the Island’s World Heritage sites, including Sigiriya Rock and Dambulla Rock Temple (four days from £299pp).
Hayes & Jarvis has also revamped its Sri Lanka beach collection. At three and four star level there is a particular emphasis on all inclusive family accommodation, competitively priced from £849 per person for a five night all inclusive package at the Mermaid Hotel & Club, Kalutara (May-June 2010). At the same time, the operator has strengthened its five-star offer with the addition of the Heritance Ahungalla, designed by noted architect Geoffrey Bawa (from £899pp for five nights B&B including flights and transfers) and the famed Fortress at Galle (from £1,089 pp for five nights).
The Maldives has been buoyant for Hayes & Jarvis during a difficult season for the destination but Hayes & Jarvis says that there has been greater strength in the well-priced four and five-star island resorts than at the top end, leading it to focus expansion on resorts offering affordable ‘luxury for less’.
Additions for 2009/10 include the Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa (five nights from £2,449), recently taken over by Hilton; Olhuveli Beach (five nights from £1,419) introduced in response to consumer demand and an affordable four-star plus option; and the new Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, the Far Eastern hotel group’s first venture in the Maldives.
Due to open shortly, the resort is being positioned to attract diving enthusiasts as the diving there is rated as outstanding and includes an excellent house reef, complete with a dedicated sunken ship wreck. A six night package at the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa costs from £2,029pp and includes All-Inclusive accommodation and SriLankan Airlines flights (1-15 November).
Although 2009 has also been a tough year for Mauritius, Hayes & Jarvis says that its passenger numbers have actually risen. Lesley Rollo said: “The destination has been protected to some extent from the UK downturn because transactions are made in sterling and not in US dollars, which has sheltered Mauritius from the weakness of the pound.”
For 2009/10 Hayes & Jarvis has added the well-known Shandrani Resort & Spa because it is ideal for families and offers five-star all inclusive accommodation at a very reasonable price – from £1,589 per person for a five night package including Air Mauritius flights (19 April-29 June). At the other end of the scale, Hayes & Jarvis has added the budget-priced All-Inclusive Veranda Palmar Beach after seeing good sales for Veranda’s other resorts on Mauritius (from £1,019pp for five night packages).
In Dubai Hayes & Jarvis has added a budget self-catering option. Golden Sands Apartment, located in Bur Dubai and a short walk from the prestigious stores of the Burjuman shopping mall, provides the long haul specialist with its lead-priced accommodation in Dubai, from £569 per person for three nights in a one room studio (September 2009). Although self-catering, this benefits from hotel-style facilities including a swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, complimentary internet and a coffee shop.
The Hayes & Jarvis Indian Ocean Collection brochure is valid for bookings from September 2009 until January 2011. Prices start from £819 per person for a five night B&B package at the four-star Eden Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka including return SriLankan Airlines flights from London Heathrow and transfers (valid 1 September-31 October 2009).
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