Aitken Spence Resorts to expand Maldives Operations

The Aitken Spence Group, which owns the Adaraan chain of resorts, has announced plans of a possible expansion of its resorts in the Maldives. The company has issued a statement saying that it hopes to expand in the country given the right opportunity.

The company has claimed that with the new Tourism GST tax of 3.5%, room rates will increase. According to Upul Peiris, the COO of the Maldives’ resort chain, the new tax is being passed on to many tour operators.

He also said that in spite of the increased rates, they remained confident of obtaining occupancy rates of over 78% because of the value added services being provided. The four existing resorts include Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi and Adaaran Select Meedhupparu.

The Aitken Spence Group has a capacity of over 20,000 throughout the Maldives, and has grown by 21% compared with 2009, while continuing to invest heavily in the Sri Lanka market.

When speaking about the depression that has hit the nation, Mr Peiris said that the Korean and Chinese markets were feeding well into the resorts and that this was helping the company and the tourism industry as a whole get through this period.

Mr. Peiris believes that the country’s success at the World Travel Awards, where it won the best honeymoon destination and second place for the Leisure Beach segment, will continue to help the country boost international arrival numbers throughout 2011.

The Adaaran resorts have a total room capacity of 610 rooms with 1220 beds; and with the national average in Maldives is 72% occupancy, Aitken Spence can boast of an over 6% of this total. The group is also currently the fourth largest foreign investor in the Maldives.

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