Mattala International Airport and Southern Expressway were positioned as ‘premier tourism products’ of Sri Lanka at the World Trave Mart (WTM), one of the biggest tourism forums in the world, held in London last week.
With this recognition, global industry experts who attended WTM in London have expressed confidence that Mattala International Airport and Southern Expressway will contribute immensely to what they term as “Southern Beach Tourism”.
A comprehensive business model that was developed around Mattala International Airport and Southern Expressway was presented at WTM by Aitken Spence. The business model involves the setting up of a USD 100 million beach resort in Ahungalla which will primarily target tourists who arrive at Mattala International Airport with Aitken Spence partnering with the Spanish hotel chain RIU.
The five star 500 room resort will be set up on an 11 acre site at Ahungalle with tourists able to reach it in less than one hour after the Southern Expressway extends to Hambantota. In fact the opening of the hotel will coincide with the completion of this extension. The project will also introduce Charter flights to the country. The hotel which would cater to high end customers looking for long stay vacations will arrive on Boeing 787 Dreamliner charters which can carry up to 200 – 300 passengers at a time.
All the flights are expected to land at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport in Mattala. Speaking on the project Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman Rajan Brito says, with Mattala Airport facility already in place, the company sees the perfect mix for its business model. Head of Aitken Spence Hotels Malin Hapugoda, in an interview with TTG said that RIU is also collaborating with Germany-based TUI Travel group to operate charter flights.
[Via The Nation]