Friday, 13 August 2004  
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All rest houses under one management - Anura

by Shirajiv Sirimane

Minister Anura Bandaranaike with Chairman CHC - Picture by Nimal Karunatillake

President Chandrika Bandaranaike ku maratunga is keen in bringing all the rest houses under one management said the Minister of Tourism, Investment promotion Anura Bandaranaike.

Speaking to the Daily news he said that this is because all rest houses do not provide equal service. "Some rest houses provide a very good service while others are in a very bad state," he said. He said a master plan would be presented soon to revamp the entire resthouse structure.

The Minister who visited Ceylon Hotels Corporation (CHC) head office in Bambalapitiya last Tuesday said that he was happy with the way the CHC manages their properties. "Most of their rest houses are well maintained," he said.

Bandaranike said that the President was keen on improving the rest houses since it is the place for the common man who cannot afford to stay in luxury hotels paying exorbitant prices. "There must be a place for the Sri Lankan tourists and only a few people have identified their needs," he said. The Minister said that his recent visit to China has opened new doors for more tourist arrivals from the country which has high spending tourists.

"The SriLankan airlines will operate three flights a week to China from November and this too would be a boost to Tourism," he said.

China has also identified that Sri Lanka would be the best tourist destination in the year 2010. The Minister also instructed the CHC to provide free meals to all their employees with immediate effect.

Chairman of the CHC Chandra Mohotti said that the rest houses would be upgraded to attract more clients. "Today the master stays in a luxury hotel while the driver is asked to stay in a rest house.

We want to change this concept and bring dignity to the rest houses and restore its past glory," the former Manager of the Galadari hotel said.

Target Travels goes to Thanthirimale

Target Travels (Pvt) Ltd a subsidiary of the renowned Ranfer Group recently concluded yet another successful tour to Thanthirimale a remote village in the Mahawilachchiya/Wilpattu area. The 40 tourists from the South were also able to help the villagers with dry rations, school books, stationery, sweets, cloths and other essentials.

The Chief Monk of the Thanthirimale Temple mentioned that though the Temple has a proud history of more than 2000 years, for the last 22 years due to the unrest in the North and East, the visitors were dwindled to a trickle.

In keeping with our slogan "Explore Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankans" for the month of August' 04, Target Travels will operate tours of Jaffna by air (Lion Air), Meemure (a film location village in the Knuckle's Range), Nuwara Eliya with a fine dining experience on "wheels" at the Tea Factory Hotel, and cricket tours.

Photographic poster on Lankan butterflies

A beautiful, high quality, large format poster will help create awareness of the butterflies of Sri Lanka. Measuring a generous 86cm x 57 cm, it carries photographic images of 57 species of butterflies.

The images are by wildlife populariser Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne and published by Jetwing Eco Holidays, a specialist in wildlife and luxury travel. Hiran Cooray, Managing Director of Jetwing Hotels says that the poster is a prime example of how the tourism industry is taking its responsibilities towards the environment seriously.

Lalin de Mel, Director Marketing of Jetwing Hotels says that the educational initiatives undertaken by the specialist subsidiary, Jetwing Eco Holidays, creates a strong branding, not just for Jetwing, but for Sri Lankan tourism as a whole as one which combines commercial interests with a sense of environmental responsibility.

The poster is designed to fill a gap in the natural history literature on Sri Lanka. At present there is no photographic guide to the butterflies of Sri Lanka showing species photographed under wild conditions. Chandrika Maelge, Team Leader of Jetwing Eco Holidays, states that the poster is a stepping stone.

She believes it will at least provide a means to identify some of the commoner butterflies until the publication of a guide book which her team is working on, is in print.

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