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Sunday, 24 May 2009

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Lankan hospitality at Villa Ocean, an oasis of luxury

Despite the global crisis affecting all people some hoteliers are optimistic and have invested large sums of money in anticipation of the good times ahead.

Villa Ocean View Hotel, a luxurious beach property located on the sandy beach of Wadduwa has invested nearly Rs. 200 million for refurbishment expanding its capacity to provide to its guests traditional Sri Lankan hospitality that is renowned the world over.

The swimming pool

According to the General Manager Marketing of Villa Ocean View, Ranjaka de Mel, the hotel has upgraded its facilities in two stages to cater to the needs of a wide spectrum of guests including upmarket tourists, foreign and local honeymooners, local families and all inclusive groups as well as the needs of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) sector.

New look

He said that an investment of Rs. 200 million in upgrading the hotels' facilities had given a new look while making Villa Ocean one of the most attractive properties on the southwestern coast of the country. The Villa Ocean houses 140 well appointed rooms of which 73 are cabanas. There are 67 superior rooms including six classy suites.

Each villa has air conditional rooms set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens, each with its own balcony air terrace replicating typical bungalow living. Hotel amenities include elevators, coffee shop, bar, restaurant and health club. Night themes are available throughout the week with live amusement and DJ music with a seating capacity up to 150 guests at a time. The hotel, situated in Wadduwa, is only 34 kilometers from Colombo. Set in a beautifully landscaped land of 20 acres with an enchantingly picturesque view of the golden beach. it is just a one and half hours minute drive from Colombo.

Popular destination

Villa Ocean View also has four banquet halls and they have upgraded the capacity of its main banquet up to 400 guests. "It is a popular destination among the locals and foreigners to tie the nuptial knot," he said. "Especially foreigners like to have their weddings in typical Sri Lankan style with A "poruwa" `ashtakas' and magul bera," he said. The Villa Ocean is popular among Western and Eastern Europeans and Asians. It is patronised by Sri Lankans and expatriates alike. This hotel has always been a popular venue for the weekend buffet specially designed according to the guests" preferences. An Ayurvedic Center handled by professional Ayurvedic doctors has become a very prominent place for both local and foreign clients.

The Villa Ocean View has been awarded by ISO 2002 certificate for maintaining high standards and a satisfied service to customers. The ISO 14001 certificate has also been awarded to the hotel due to its environmental friendly system and service.

Superior rooms are equipped with all amenities including super mini bar, cable TV, IDD connection, hot and cold water bath tub. They come with a glamorous sea view through a private balcony. One of the significant changes to the hotel's infrastructure was the redesign and extension of its conference facilities.

"There is no doubt that the Villa has become very popular as a conference hub which very famous among foreign mission, corporate sector and NGOs.

"We also offer a wide range of leisure activities including animation programs," Senior Assistant Sales Manager Pandula Weerakoon said.

Another unique feature of the Villa is its two pools that provide maximum enjoyment to guests. On is equipped with a "Jacuzzi" feature which has become very popular among the guests, Assistant Sales Manager Dilrukshi Jayasena said.

In addition to these facilities, there are other recreation activities provided by the hotel such as volleyball, table tennis, badminton, carom, mini golf, pool table, water polo and floodlit tennis.


Minister Moragoda meets Indonesian counterpart

Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda and Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik emerging from an international conference on Trail of Civilisation on Buddhism 2009 held in Borobudur recently. Moragoda who was on a three-day official visit on the invitation of the Government of Indonesia to participate in the Trail of Civilisation met his counterpart Jero Wacik with senior leaders of the Tourism sector.

Minister Moragoda and Minister Jero Wacik discussed the issues and the new developments in the Tourism sector and he urged the Minister of Tourism and Culture Jero Wacik to provide expert help to Sri Lanka to strengthen the sector.

Moragoda, who called on Jero Wacik here, said: "both of us want to learn from each other how tourism related issues are dealt at the State and community level. Sri Lanka is involving the private sector in tourism related activities and wants to develop new tourism related products to attract more tourists."

Wacik said tourism is an economic driver in Indonesia from which the Centre as well as the State Governments are benefiting. He said Indonesia is developing mega destinations like Bali to provide complete experience for tourists. During their meeting, both leaders discussed matters of cooperation in tourism sector between the two countries.


Memorable experience flying Sri Lankan

Travelling Business Class on SriLankan Airlines is a legendary experience.

From priority check-in and luxuriating in the Serendib Lounge ... all the comforts and extras and facilities combine to give you a truly memorable journey from airport to airport and the heavens in between.

In fact it has now got more classy ... and well ... lucrative too.

Imagine getting a smashing 30 percent cash back on the fare of your SriLankan Airlines Business Class ticket.

That's what awaits all passengers who purchase their tickets online www.srilankan.aero http://www.srilankan.aero/ on Business Class between now and June 30 2009, for travel to and from any destination on the SriLankan Airlines network made available on the Internet Booking Engine.

That's not all. Winning a blissful holiday in the sun-drenched Maldives is also just a click away with SriLankan Airlines. Why not spoil yourself with a holiday for two in the Maldives for 2 nights / 3 days.

This includes return airfare, hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis including breakfast.

Laze around on the golden sands under the swaying coconut palms with the gentle waves tickling your toes and the cool breezes lulling you to slumber.

All this can be yours for the taking if you purchase your return tickets online for travel out of Sri Lanka through www.srilankan.aero http://bookings.srilankan.aero/. So hurry and book online now and double, treble and quadruple your pleasure by flying SriLankan... So why wait... get to you laptop or PC now and let your holiday begin online.

Online purchasing is growing in popularity with travellers because of the advantages of convenience and not having to conform to someone else's time! Bookings on the website can be made for a flight up to a mere 18 hours before departure, in the comfort of one's home or office instead of wasting time and hassling oneself through more traditional booking options.

The internet booking engine allows travellers to search for flights, check availability of flights on any given date, book their tickets and pay online via the secure payment gateway with any internationally accepted credit card.


Commonwealth Secretariat assists trade facilitation

Trade facilitation is very important for the economy of Sri Lanka and the exercise undertaken by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) is appropriate and timely, said Prof G.L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade speaking at the press briefing held at Taj Samudra Hotel to explain the purpose and modalities of the Trade facilitation.

Kosala Wickramanayake, President, FCCISL making the welcome address said that trade facilitation is an essential component of trade promotion and such facilitation involves many systems and processes.

He said that Sri Lanka has been one of the pioneers in introducing facilitation way back in 1980s, but the interest on this key subject suffered and have fallen behind in the efforts to introduce new methods and facilities that would ultimately enable the speedier movement of export and import cargo.

Prof Peiris continuing said that he deeply appreciate the interest of the Commonwealth Secretariat in the decision of supporting this program in order to stimulate the innovative thinking on systems and procedures to take stock, identify shortcomings and recommendation.

He said that looking back to the country's history, at the time of receiving the independence, Sri Lanka had one of the strongest economies and the per capita income highest in the region, way ahead of such countries like Thailand, Korea and slightly below Japan.

He said that subsequently the country underwent problems like the ethnic strife which prevented progress.

He said that now this problem has been resolved completely and a new page is being turned in the annals of Sri Lankan history.

He said that the time is appropriate to address the problem of rebuilding the economy.

Therefore the area of trade facilitation would be a practical project and the country's strongest advantage is its natural resources and this advantage should be optimally used.

Prof. Peiris suggested that the advantageous natural resources to be identified and said that the country's geographical location would enable it to be the regional gateway for trade rather than just a market place of 19 1/2 million people.

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