LOLC chief confident of improvement in tourism sector | Sunday Observer

LOLC chief confident of improvement in tourism sector

28 May, 2023
Thaala Bentota launched a new website to mark the occasion. Here Thaala Bentota, General Manager Channa Ekanayake presents the first booking done through the web to two foreigners. Group General Manager, Browns Hotels & Resorts, Eksath Wijerathna looks on. (On right): Director, Group CEO of LOLC Holdings, Kapila Jayawardena

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is bouncing back sooner than expected and we see a new light in this segment, said Group Managing Director, CEO of LOLC Holdings PLC, Kapila Jayawardena. He was speaking at the rebranding ceremony of Avani Bentota as Thaala Bentota on Thursday.

He said that a lot of foreign media now puts Sri Lanka as one the best places to travel and visit and these accolades also will contribute positively towards the growth of the industry.

He said that the hotel was another master architectural design of legendary world-class architect and designer Geoffrey Bawa and it has a lot of history behind it.

“This transformation signifies our commitment to continuously elevate the guest experience and redefine luxury hospitality in Sri Lanka. Thaala (meaning “rhythm”) Bentota encapsulates our vision of harmonising rhythm and nature. This is not just a name change; it represents a new chapter in our journey to offer unique and immersive experiences that resonate with our guests.

“Under the umbrella of Browns Hotels and Resorts, our aim is to position Thaala Bentota as a premier destination, in the wider global hospitality landscape,” he said.

Group General Manager, Browns Hotels & Resorts, Eksath Wijerathna said that the global tourism sector has now returned to 80% of the pre C-19 levels. We also see tourism picking up in Sri Lanka as the arrivals target of 1.5 million for 2023 has now been revised to 2 million.”

“We also observe that 40% of the arrivals to Sri Lanka are repeaters and there are some guests who have been visiting this hotel for over 40 times. We now have around 905 keys in Sri Lanka and over 1,000 hotel rooms in the Maldives and Mauritius. LOLC Group is set to become one of the largest leisure property owners in each of these markets,” he said.

Browns Hotels and Resorts, operating as the leisure arm of LOLC Group, has been investing in the Sri Lankan leisure industry since 2009.