Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence to boost Maldives’ capacity over 50-pct
COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka-based Aiken Spence group said it will boost capacity in Maldives by 57 percent by starting construction of two new resorts which will add 360 rooms to its portfolio in the next three years.
The group already operates five resorts in four islands in the Maldives with 630 rooms and 1,200 beds, making in the largest overseas operator in the island, the company said.
Already 70 percent of the profits of Aitken Spence Hotels Holdings came from the Maldives.
Aitken Spence said it lease dfor Aarah Island in Raa Atoll in 2014 and Raa Fushi in Noonu Atoll in 2015.
"We will commence the construction of two new resort properties on these two islands, Aarah in Raa Atoll and Raafushi in Noonu Atoll during the year…" Managing Director J M Brito told shareholders in the annual report.
Aitken Spence is planning a 160 roomed resort on Aarah where design work is expected to finish this year and construction is also expected to start.
At Raafushi island, a 200-roomed resort is being planned and design work has started.
The firm is expecting the resorts to be completed within three years.
In India, a 143-roomed hotel will open in July 2015, under Aitken Spence’s new ‘Turyaa’ brand. Existing management deals with other hotels have ended.
"…[T]he Group is also actively exploring opportunities within Sri Lanka, with a focus on developing existing land banks, such as in Galle and Trincomalee," Chairman Harry Jayawardene said.
The group had already taken a 23 percent stake in Amethyst Resort in Passekudah, in the East Coast.
In Sri Lanka a 501 roomed joint venture with RIU Hotels and Resorts is expected to open in later 2016. Heritance Negombo, (former Browns Beach) will open in the second half of 2015, adding 143 rooms.
Another 90 rooms was being added to The Sands in Kalutara, which will be ready by late 2015.
The new projects will add 1,237 rooms to Aitken Spence’ existing portfolio of 1,908 rooms, which includes 466 rooms in Oman.