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Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 25’2012 | August 15, 2012 1 Global Aviation Summit in November Sri Lanka will play host to a major global aviation summit that will bring key decision makers in the industry to capital Colombo in November this year. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will host a three- day Global Aviation Human Capital Summit in Colombo from 13 to 15 November. The by invitation onlysummit is designed to bring together key decision makers from across the aviation industry to share best practices in human capital management and development. According to the organizers, the event is for key- decision makers in human capital across the worldwide air transport industry, the global heads of Human Capital, their deputies and the global heads of Training and Development from airlines, airports and aviation authorities. The summit is seen as a boost to the tourism industry in Sri Lanka which targets one million tourist arrivals this year to market Sri Lanka as a choice venue for international conferences. This year the summit is primarily sponsored by Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines. Representatives of the aviation industry in over 53 countries are expected to participate in the summit. Cinnamon Airdomestic air taxi service to be established in Sri Lanka Saffron Aviation (Pvt) Ltd, a joint venture between John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), MMBL Leisure Holdings (Pvt) Limited and Phoenix Ventures Limited, signed an agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to establish a domestic air taxi service in Sri Lanka with a total planned investment of USD 8.4 million. The start-up fleet will consist of two Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian aircraft (seating 9 passengers each) and one wheeled Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft (seating 12 passengers) that would provide the flexibility for the airline to operate from any of the domestic and international airports as well as from waterdromes. The domestic air taxi service 'Cinnamon Air' will fill a critical void in the current tourism offering in Sri Lanka by providing a unique service of scheduled daily flights linking the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with key holiday locations on the South West coast, the East Coast (in the summer season), Kandy, the Cultural Triangle and Hambantota/Yala. Flights to and from the BIA will largely connect with arrival and departure flight timings of the National Carrier and all major international airlines serving Colombo. The air taxi service will augment the overall visitor experience in Sri Lanka by significantly reducing the time spent by tourists on road transfers between the airport and hotels and on excursions, whilst providing passengers with a unique, panoramic view of the outstanding countryside and scenery. The service will also be an important value addition to and benefit the several investments in upscale boutique hotel properties in the recent past, thus contributing significantly towards attracting high end tourism traffic to Sri Lanka. Whilst scheduled services will be retailed through all Tour Operators and Travel Agents and directly to customers via the internet, Cinnamon Air will also offer short scenic flights and charter flights to any part of the island for groups, cruise passengers and corporate travelers. Commercial operations of Cinnamon Air are expected to commence in the last quarter of 2012.

domestic air taxi service to be established in Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 15.08.2012- Eng.pdf · international stars lined up to play against Sri Lankan icons like Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah

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Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 25’2012 | August 15, 2012 1

Global Aviation Summit in November Sri Lanka will play host to a major global aviation summit that will bring key decision makers in the industry to capital Colombo in November this year. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will host a three- day Global Aviation Human Capital Summit in Colombo from 13 to 15 November.

The “by invitation only” summit is designed to bring together key decision makers from across the aviation industry to share best practices in human capital management and development. According to the organizers, the event is for key-decision makers in human capital across the worldwide air transport industry, the

global heads of Human Capital, their deputies and the global heads of Training and Development from airlines, airports and aviation authorities.

The summit is seen as a boost to the tourism industry in Sri Lanka which targets one million tourist arrivals this year to market Sri Lanka as a choice venue for international conferences. This year the summit is primarily sponsored by Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines. Representatives of the aviation industry in over 53 countries are expected to participate in the summit.

“Cinnamon Air” domestic air taxi service to be established in Sri Lanka

Saffron Aviation (Pvt) Ltd, a joint venture between John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), MMBL Leisure Holdings (Pvt) Limited and Phoenix Ventures Limited, signed an agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to establish a domestic air taxi service in Sri Lanka with a total planned investment of USD 8.4 million. The start-up fleet will consist of two Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian aircraft (seating 9 passengers each) and one wheeled Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft (seating 12 passengers) that would provide the flexibility for the airline to operate from any of the domestic and international airports as well as from waterdromes.

The domestic air taxi service 'Cinnamon Air' will fill a critical void in the current tourism offering in Sri Lanka by providing a unique service of scheduled daily flights linking the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with key holiday locations on the South West coast, the East Coast (in the summer season), Kandy, the Cultural Triangle and Hambantota/Yala. Flights to and from the BIA will largely connect with arrival and departure flight timings of the National Carrier and all major international airlines serving Colombo.

The air taxi service will augment the overall visitor experience in Sri Lanka by significantly reducing the time spent by tourists on road transfers between the airport and hotels and on excursions, whilst providing passengers with a unique, panoramic view of the outstanding countryside and scenery. The service will also be an important value addition to and benefit the several investments in upscale boutique hotel properties in the recent past, thus contributing significantly towards attracting high end tourism traffic to Sri Lanka. Whilst scheduled services will be retailed through all Tour Operators and Travel Agents and directly to customers via the internet, Cinnamon Air will also offer short scenic flights and charter flights to any part of the island for groups, cruise passengers and corporate travelers. Commercial operations of Cinnamon Air are expected to commence in the last quarter of 2012.

Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 25’2012 | August 15, 2012 2

SL’s gem & jewelleries boosted by top multinational’s arrival

Pure Gold Jewellers, the reputed and award winning multinational jeweler based in Dubai, is planning to enter Sri Lanka. According to Minister of Industry and Commerce “International award winning Pure Gold’s arrival can boost SL’s gem and jewelleries sector exports. It will be possible to link SL’s jewellery sector’s value addition directly to exports.

Pure Gold Jewellers (PGJ) has more than 100 stores across UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and India. PGJ is on a $272 million expansion drive during the next five years and the company would enter Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Malaysia with new stores. Pure Gold Jewellers (PGJ) is also a top supplier to Duty Free of many International Airports. Among awards won by PGJ are: “Best Service Performance Brand in Large Business Category” (2007-2010), “Best in Customer Service” (2010) and the Best Service Performance Award (2011).

Jewellery exports also bring the highest value addition in diamonds, gems and jewellery exports. In 2011 Sri Lanka exported $28 million jewellery which rose by 55% from 2010’s $18 million, and the US, Hong Kong and Belgium being the top three buyers out of 39 countries bought from Sri Lanka in 2011. If Sri Lanka can successfully link its jewellery supply chains to such multinationals as PGJ, it will enhance the much needed international recognition for national jewellery industry. Of $10.9 billion of Sri Lanka’s total exports in 2011, “diamonds, gems and jewellery” sector claimed 4.9% at $531.57 million registering a strong 30.04% growth in comparison to 2010 exports ($408.77 million).

New tourist zone to be developed in Sri Lanka's North Central Province

Sri Lankan authorities plan to create a new tourist zone in the North Central Province. The proposed tourist triangle will be enclosed by Wilpattu National Park, Ritigala and Horowpothana. A new entrance to the Wilpattu National Park has been created at Thanthirimale in Anuradhapura district where an ancient temple is situated. 15 new water reservoirs will be constructed in the area in addition to 10 circuit bungalows planned within the triangle. Also 350 kilometers of roads are to be developed. It is planned to set up an orphanage in the Ritigala forest reserve for injured wild elephants and to establish a conservation center in Horowpathana for orphaned elephant calves.

Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 25’2012 | August 15, 2012 3

First stage of Pinnawala zoo will be ready by October 2012

The first stage of construction of the country’s second zoological gardens adjoining the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are planned to be completed by October. This segment of the zoo will be used to house Sri Lanka’s endemic animals. The first stage covers nearly 45 acres. The length of the internal road systems within the zoo is 2.5km. Animal dens, water tanks to supply water to animals, officers’ quarters and cafeteria have already been completed at a cost of Rs 205 million. The capacity of the water tank is 400,000 gallons. The Pinnawala elephant orphanage is one of the most prominent tourist attractions among four other animal habitats in the country.

The establishing a zoological garden in Pinnawala will draw a large amount of visitors to Kegalle boosting the local economy. Infrastructure facilities will also be developed in Rambukkana town bringing with it direct and indirect employment opportunities to the youth of the area. Also from funds provided by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa the road running to Rambukkana off the Colombo - Kandy road had been carpeted. In addition to that, the road from Kurunegala to Rambukkana and the Mawanella-Rambukkana - Pinnawala road leading to the proposed zoological garden also will be carpeted.

$6 Million tips from Sri Lanka Cricket T20 Premier League

Sri Lanka Cricket tips the island will earn in excess of six million dollars from its inaugural Twnety20 premier league from professional fees, sponsorships and hotel accommodation. The Sri Lanka Premier League runs from August 10-31 and will be played at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium and Kandy’s Pallekele Stadium.

The seven franchises, which are owned by Indian companies, players, officials, media crew, event partners and other support staff are set to occupy more than 7,000 hotel rooms during the period. Hotel room nights would generate about a billion dollars in revenue. “This will provide a significant boost for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and shall also give the country an additional influx of foreign exchange,” the governing body said.

The governing body is expected to earn three-million dollars, the players about 1.5 million dollars, officials around 500,000 dollars, during the 15-day tournament. Even former players, coaches and part-time staff of Sri Lanka Cricket have been drafted as mentors, coaches and brand ambassadors with the seven franchises. The tournament, which features 42 international players from seven countries, will be broadcasted worldwide through ESPN STAR Sports. The premier league will also be streamed live on SLPL’s youtube channel. West Indies all-rounder Chris Gayle, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Misbah Ul Haq are among the international stars lined up to play against Sri Lankan icons like Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muraliatharan, Lasith Malinga, Tilakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews.

Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 25’2012 | August 15, 2012 4

Maskeliya: A Breath of Fresh Air

Maskeliya is one of Sri Lanka's little known towns and yet thousands of tourists, both domestic and foreign, travel through it every year on their way from Hatton to climb Adam's Peak. Adam's Peak is the venerated mountain at 2,223m above sea level that people of Sri Lanka's four main religions hold sacred. The climbing season, when visibility is good for viewing a peerless dawn from its summit, is from the December Poya Day to April. At other times of the year, Maskeliya is an intriguing combination of ancient and modern tea country lifestyle.

There is a poignant reminder of the days of colonial tea planters who developed the area to be seen beside the road, where the Warleigh Church is perched overlooking the hauntingly beautiful Castlereagh Reservoir. The church, which was built in 1878 of solid granite blocks, has a cemetery with many graves of planters and their families who never made it back home to Britain.

There are still services in English on the first and third Sunday of each month, although the church is usually locked until the caretaker opens it up for visitors. To peep inside is to understand how planters

who gave their lives developing the tea industry maintained the traditions of their faith. There is an old pipe organ, precious 19th Century stained glass windows, a Bible inscribed with the date of 1879, and worn timber pews. On a notice board is a list of the names of the remaining 15 regular churchgoers.

Maskeliya's close link with the tea industry is apparent from the neighboring small round hillocks, each one with closely cropped tea bushes growing on the contours circling the hills. Tea pluckers in brightly coloured plastic capes creep across the hillsides gathering the leaves to be sent to one of the nearby Tea Processing Plants, the modern name for the tall tea factories built of corrugated metal sides that dominate the lush green landscape.

The road to Maskeliya winds alongside the Castlereagh Reservoir, yielding tantalizing glimpses of a gleaming sheen of water through a fringe of giant bamboos and a phalanx of rigidly upright eucalyptus trees. Occasionally milk churns are to be seen beside the road awaiting collection from family farmsteads.

The entrance to the town is marked by the Public Library and a branch of the Bank of Ceylon. Both buildings symbolize the spirit of the town where children hurry to school and the town's prosperity is reflected in its eclectic range of shops.

Maskeliya is an attractive town because it has so far retained some of its old shops. Kiosks sell spiced, fried lake fish caught in the reservoir that morning and warm, crunchy lentil cookies. The tall houses that form Maskeliya's Main Street are box shaped and brightly coloured so the town could be part of a cubist painting splashes of higgledy-piggledy daubs vibrant against the dark green of the surrounding countryside and the silvery flashes of misty waterfalls. Among the ancient shops are timber yards, carpentry workshops, greengrocers, haberdasheries and pawn centers.

To visit Maskeliya is to sense both the past and the present in happy combination. Visitors are so rare out of the climbing season; they are greeted warmly by shopkeepers keen to talk. Yet any time of the year seems good for pausing in Maskeliya to enjoy the company of the townsfolk, the fresh hillside air, and the inspiring views of forested hills and tea-clad dales with the shimmering Castlereagh Reservoir far below, and Adam's Peak looming in the distance.

Ayubowan! Sri Lanka № 25’2012 | August 15, 2012 5

Centara Passikuda Resort is opening soon

Centara Hotels and Resorts is about to open its first property on Sri Lanka - Centara Passikudah Resort and Spa Sri Lanka in December 2012. The resort will be operated by Centara under a management contract and will be part of the company’s core brand of four-star properties. Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa Sri Lanka is located on a long sweeping portion of Passikudah Beach, whose shallow waters are ideal for windsurfing, kayaking and bathing. It is a 126-room property located next to the beach with room types includes Superior, Deluxe, Premium Deluxe, Family Residence and Suites. Along with the all-day restaurant and an attractive bar lounge, the hotel will feature Spice Market Restaurant and Elements, with interactive cooking stations focusing on freshly prepared Asian, Indian and Middle-Eastern dishes. The hotel will feature a Spa Cenvaree (Centara signature SPA chain), a fitness centre, and a Kids’ Club. Meetings and events will form an integral portion of the market mix. The Vandeloos Bay Ballroom can welcome up to 150 guests at one time and is complemented by state of the art audio visual equipment, with professional event specialists to assist guests and delegates.

Address in Sri Lanka 351 Union Place, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka Central Office in Thailand Tel: +66 2 769 1234 (central office in Bangkok) Fax: +66 2 769 1235 (central office in Bangkok) E-mail: [email protected] Office in Russia and CIS 154, Engelsa Av., office 217 194358, Saint-Petersburg, Russia Tel: +7 (812) 943 38 99, +7 (921) 767 97 88 Email: [email protected] Web: www.centarahotelsresorts.com

Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation

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