Sri Lanka Jetwing upgrading two hotels, mulling new ones

July 09, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Jetwing leisure group has is spending 1.3 billion rupees to expand and upgrade two hotels during this year and is evaluating other projects to meet a tourism boom after the end of a 30-year war, an official said. He said the group had 30 projects in a ‘wish list’ but it took time to gain approval and build hotels.

“Today building a 80-room of a 4-star category hotel costs close to 10 million (US) dollars,” he said.

“It takes at least a year to get all the approvals sorted out. That is with all the bureacracy working quite speedily to get the approval. It take two years to build. That is three years when your money sitting there.”

Jetwing is building a hotel in Vietnam with partner Hanoi-based Buffalo Tours, and is also involved in a project in Luang Prabang in Laos.

Jetwing operates a chain of 10 hotels around Sri Lanka made up of 530 rooms and it also has operations in Vietnam and Laos.

Jetwing was putting 700 million rupees to Jetwing Blue, formerly Blue Oceanic Hotel in Negombo, north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, which is scheduled to be completed by December.

“We are completely repositioning the hotel, changing rooms, building new rooms,” Jetwing hotels chief Hiran Cooray to