Sri Lanka Jetwing eyes East Asia from Vietnam base

Mar 29, HANOI (LBO) – With a firm foothold in Vietnam, Sri Lanka’s Jetwing leisure group is looking to expand further into fast growing tourism markets in Laos and Cambodia, an official said. Jetwing Indochina Company, a joint venture with a local group which already has leisure interests including Vietnam’s Buffalo Tours, is building a 26-room up market hotel in the Mai Chau, an emerging tourist area 135 kilometres north east of Hanoi.

“Tourism here will have a portent future,” says Kumar Senaratne, chief executive of Jetwing Indochina.

“Vietnam has a vast amount of attractions, involving their long history and culture. The stability of the country helps and it is very competitive.”

In Sri Lanka Jetwing has a string of hotels, and is a top inbound tour operator.

Vietnam has 85 million people and the 331,000 square kilometer country snakes down from the north to the south in a Roman alphabet ‘S’ shape. It is filled with flat rice fields, lush forests and mountains.

Toll roads are now making travel easier and domestic flights are growing. Last year 3.7 million tourists visited Vietnam, down 10 percent.

Among Vietnam’s star attractions is Ha Long Bay, a limestone