Sri Lanka Jetwing plans hotel in former Jaffna war zone

Oct 11, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Jetwing group plans to build a hotel in the northern Jaffna peninsula, part of the former war zone which is recovering after the end of the island’s ethnic war, an official said. Hiran Cooray, chairman of Jetwing, said the hotel was part of the group’s expansion plan to cater to booming tourist demand following the end of the 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.

“We’re planning to build 60 rooms in Jaffna,” he told the annual conference of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. “We’ve identified a block of land.”

Tourist arrivals into the island have risen sharply with the end of the war and removal of travel warnings, with most hotels reporting heavy bookings for the forthcoming winter peak season.

Cooray, who is also chairman of the Pacific Area Tourism Association (PATA), said the group caters to demand from local tourists as well.

“About 15-20 percent of business comes from the domestic market. It is one of the reasons we survived during the conflict.”

The island’s tourist industry had been in the doldrums for decades because of the ethnic war.

S Kalaiselvam, director-general of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, said the gove