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Sunday, 8 February 2009





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The Leisure Group of JKH wins awards

The Leisure Group of John Keells Group received 6 Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism at the annual Presidential Awards ceremony recently. The Cinnamon Grand Colombo was adjudged the Best Five Star City Hotel at this year's Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism. General Manager Rohan Karr accepted this award which was presented in recognition of the hotel's continued influence in the hospitality sector. A recognized market leader, Cinnamon Grand continues to emphasize its image as the ultimate destination for discerning travellers seeking the pleasures of affordable indulgences.

"As a three-year-old brand conceptualized in Sri Lanka, we feel great pride in receiving this award for the second consecutive year, in lieu of our indigenous origins, " said Karr. "Cinnamon Grand is the first property of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality brand of the John Keells Group which was launched on the 14th of November 2005. In the span of three years, the brand has undergone significant growth and has become a premier venue in Colombo for business travellers, vacationers and diners alike." Cinnamon Grand guarantees legendary Sri Lankan hospitality through an offering of luxury, comfort, creativity and discovery. All this is possible due to the efforts made by the Cinnamon Grand's considerable workforce, who strive everyday towards the hotel's success.

Cinnamon Grand has a unique blend of hospitality, service and cuisine and is the market leader in setting excellent standards and revolutionizing the very definition of hospitality in Sri Lanka with innovative ideas which conforms to its theme of "indulgence for all ages".

The conglomerate's Destination Management Companies, Walkers Tours and Whittalls Travels, won 5 awards of the 6 categories applied for. Nature Odyssey, the adventure and nature brand of Walkers Tours, won the Presidential Award for the Best Adventure Tourism Operator. Nature Odyssey has been instrumental in initiating innovative packages and experiences for both foreign and local tourists. Their expertise is focused on adventure and nature tourism, allowing the world to experience Sri Lanka's rich biodiversity. They pioneered Whale Watching in Sri Lanka and currently carry out a very successful programme with Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation.

The Best Charter Airline of the Year was awarded to Condor Airlines, who collaborate with their local ground handling partner, Walkers Tours, in promoting Sri Lanka through extensive campaigns. The German airline owned by Thomas Cook has been operating in Sri Lanka for over 40 years, in spite of turbulent times, clearly signifying its commitment to Sri Lankan tourism.

Meanwhile, the coveted award for the Best Chauffeur Guide was bestowed on Ananda Yatawara of Walkers Tours. Mr. Yatawara has over 33 years of experience in tourism and has been exclusively with Walkers Tours since 1975 and is definitely an asset to the company and the tourism industry. Kuoni Travel was the proud winner for the second successive year of the Presidential Award for the Destination Loyal Partner - Foreign Tour Operator Category. The award was received by Whittalls Travels, the Destination Management Company of the John Keells Group who has represented Kuoni since 1993 in Sri Lanka. Kuoni has been operating to Sri Lanka since 1967 and is the largest Long Haul Tour Operator featuring the destination continuously for over 40 years.Kuoni has made significant contribution to the community by supporting and funding several CSR projects.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas
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