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Sunday, 3 February 2013

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Another first, SLA in Laya hotel project

Even during peace, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has always made a positive contribution to the country's accelerated development drive.

The SLA has used its engineering skills in development since 1914. Among the many projects successfully completed by the SLA Engineering Corps are the Hamilton bridge in Anguruwatota in 1943, Batticaloa airstrip in 1958, Cotton Spinning Mill in Minneriya in 1976, Navarangahala at Royal College in 1976 and the Asgiriya Cricket Stadium in 1979.

Laya Hotel

With 15,000 more hotel rooms needed by 2016 to meet the anticipated 2.5 million tourist arrivals, the Army has embarked on a hotel project under the Laya brand. The chain of hotels has three hotels at present with plans to add two more in the near future.

The Laya hotel chain has set a mark in the leisure sector catering to local and foreign clientele.

Sunday Observer Business spoke to former Director Welfare, SLA, Brig. Kumudu Perera on the hotel venture and its future development.

The Laya Beach Wadduwa, formerly Wadduwa Holiday Resort has undergone tremendous transformation under the Laya brand. Laya Leisure Kukulegama the former Kukulegama Resort is in full operation at present. Laya safari at Yala is the newly constructed hotel under the chain.

The hotels have a full occupancy on a daily basis.

Two more hotels are nearing completion in Passikudah and Kuchchaveli in Trincomalee. They will be begin operations by the middle of this year and early next year. More hotels will be added to the chain in strategic locations.

This is an entirely different operation and professionally qualified civilians manage the hotel. The Soldiers' Welfare Association Fund has been used in building the hotels with plans to break even within the next five years. The income generated will be used to enhance welfare activities. Over 300 are employed at present and all the administrative expenses are met with the income generated.

The first phase of the Yala Safari will have 20 rooms and 30 more will be added under the second phase. There will be extensive marketing programs to attract guests by contacting tour operators, travel agents and other hoteliers. The hotels provide a clean and tranquil environment making it an ideal place for relaxation where service quality will be the hallmark of the Laya brand which denotes tranquillity and enhancing peace of mind.

The SLA contribution in promoting the tourism industry which has been identified as a thrust area of economic growth in the country's march towards becoming the Wonder of Asia is immense. The Laya hotel chain is testimony to its efforts in supporting the socio-economic progress of the country.

 

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