Sri Lanka tourism downturn delays Rs500mn Serendib re-branding

April 17, 2007 (LBO) – A downturn in tourism triggered by escalating violence has forced Serendib Hotels to put off plans to re-brand three hotels with a foreign leisure group, its holding company Hemas said. The mass market is still coming and our Dolphin hotel is doing well. Hotel Serendib, Bentota, controlled by the public-listed Hemas Holdings was to be repositioned with the ˜Anantara’ brand of Thailand’s Minor Group.

It’s because of the prevailing sentiment at the present time, Hussein Esufally, Hemas managing director told LBO Tuesday. The market’s a little soft now.

Serendib Hotels made an announcement to the stock exchange that its board of directors has decided to temporarily postpone the proposed redevelopment and repositioning of Hotel Serendib into a branded property under name of Anantara Bentota.

Irrespective of the postponement, Minor Group of Thailand, operators of Anantara brand of hotels in Asia, will go ahead with its investment plans in Sri Lanka with Serendib Hotels together with its major shareholder Hemas Holdings, the statement said.

Hotel Serendib will be reopened soon and continue to operate under Serendib Leisure Management.