July 21, 2010 (LBO) – SriLankan Airlines is to build a tourist hotel near the island’s main international airport at Katunayake north of Colombo, the airline’s chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said. Wickremasinghe said SriLankan Airlines itself is expanding its fleet, having taken delivery of a new Airbus aircraft Tuesday as part of a plan to double the fleet and add new destinations. “We are about to start building an airport hotel right in front of the departure lounge,’ he said.
The site is an abandoned factory at an export processing zone near the airport that has been handed over to the national airline.
Wickremasinghe said the planned hotel would have at least 125 rooms.
Sri Lanka’s is seeing a tourism boom with the end of its 30-year ethnic war in May 2009 which resulted in an immediate upturn in arrivals.
The island is facing a shortage of room to house the anticipated influx of visitors and many hotel companies are expanding and new hotels planned.