Sri Lanka’s Chaaya village charm visitors in tough times

Oct 28, 2007 (LBO) – Adding an extra touch of nature and concentrating on the local tourist market has helped a hotel controlled by Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings to maintain higher occupancy. This year the Chaaya Village in north-central Habarana says it has recorded higher occupancy rates than other properties in the area, despite a 22 percent slump in tourist arrivals in the first eight months of the year.

There is a downturn in tourism, but we have withstood it better than the others, Shafeek Wahab, Head of Branding for Cinnamon and Chaaya Hotels and Resorts told Lanka Business Report, a weekly business show.

In June 2006, Habarana Village as it was known before was re-branded as Chaaya Village, making it the flagship for the brand.

The hotel has artfully mingled the essence of its natural setting in a lowland forest area, with its rich architecture to create a modern getaway.

For many, the four hour journey to Habrana is unbearable after the 12 hour flight from Europe or other far away destinations but the beauty and the serene atmosphere of the hotel leave many awed.

I think it’s really nice, i