Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence eyes health tourism, new resorts

Aug 26, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Hotels is expanding the profitable health tourism business and plans new resorts on prime beach properties kept dormant during the ethnic war, a senior official said. “The Maldives as a whole has experienced a downturn because of the global economic turmoil. But we’re seeing a recovery and next year it should stabilise.

“We already see an increase in demand for our Sri Lankan hotels,” said Hapugoda. “We’re very upbeat on the prospects in Sri Lanka.”

All the group’s bigger properties have recently been refurbished or are being refurbished and ready to take the up turn.

“All this time we were compelled to compete on price (in Sri Lanka),” said Hapugoda. “Now the situation has changed (with the end of the war). We can now compete on quality, service and facilities.”

The firm, part of the Aitken Spence group, is also continuing to expand business overseas, Aitken Spence Hotel managing director Malin Hapugoda said.

Aitken Spence Hotels, one of the island’s top hotel firms, is aiming at exploiting opportunities thrown up by the fast growth of the market of wellness or medicinal tourism, where rates are higher.

“Medicinal tourism is one of the f