Sri Lanka military opens more hotels, creates resort brand

Nov 09, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s army has opened its third resort hotel and also created a brand as part of efforts to add more rooms to cater to an influx of tourists and promote soldier welfare. Army chief Jagath Jayasuriya said the army, which opened its first resort to provide rest and recuperation to soldiers fighting an insurgency, was looking to expand and diversity its hotel assets.

“Our vision is to make the ‘Laya’ brand one of the most sought-after resort hotels in Sri Lanka,” he told a news conference.

“We’re not going to challenge the private sector but trying to help meet the room requirement for the anticipated tourist arrivals and maintain the best standards.”

Jayasuriya said the island has emerged as one of the hottest tourists destinations following the end of its 30-year ethnic war in 2009.

It aims to draw two million tourists by 2016.

“This depends on the rapid build up of room capacity,” Jayasuriya said. “The government has set a target room capacity of 30,000 by 2015.”

The army acquired its first resort in 1989, a 35-room hotel at Wadduwa on the south-west coast now rebranded as the ‘Laya Beach’.

Laya is a Sanskrit word tha