More hoteliers flood in to Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan firm, Sunshine Holdings Ltd – which has a partnership with India’s giant Tata Group on plantations -, said a subsidiary last week signed an agreement with Nadathur Far East Pvt Ltd, an affiliate of Singapore-based SilverNeedle Hospitality Group to manage and develop new hotels in Sri Lanka.

In a statement last week, the company said this is in line with SilverNeedle’s plans to expand its room base in Asia through 3-to-5-star properties to 10,000 in five years. The agreement is with Sunshine subsidiary, Sunshine Travels and Tours Ltd which operates a string of boutique hotels in Sri Lanka using colonial-styled bungalows in Sri Lanka’s tea-growing hill country where another plantation subsidiary manages tea estates.

Company officials said the agreement was to manage new star-class hotels while the current range of boutique hotels under the brand name, Mandira will continue to be managed by Sunshine. The group has a joint venture with India’s Tata group, managing tea plantations in Sri Lanka’s central hills and selling tea under the brand name Zesta.

Sri Lanka’s tourism and leisure industry is looking up and attracting a number of new players following the end, in May 2009, of 30 years of conflict.

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