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Saturday, 17 December 2011






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Sri Lanka's first Net Metered Hotel:

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara- opens

Aitken Spence Hotels its first hotel property, Neptune Hotel, recently re-opened as Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara. Leveraging on innovative strategies in the area of renewable energy the Hotel recently broke new ground by being the first hotel in the country to enter into a Net Metering Agreement using solar photovoltaic as the renewable energy source.

The Government of Sri Lanka approved the concept of Net Metering in August 2009. In early 2010, LECO was the first to announce the new procedure. Net Metering is a special metering and billing agreement entered between utility companies and their individual customers which facilitates the connection of small, renewable energy generating systems to the power grid.

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara.

Solar Photovoltaic Systems can be broadly connected either as an Off-Grid System (solar power used to charge batteries) or an On-Grid System (solar power fed directly to the grid). The system installed at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara is a unique design having both features integrated into a single system.

During the day, the power produced from the solar panels is used to charge the batteries as well as feed power to the grid. This has been achieved by increasing the capacity of the solar panels so that excess power is generated, more than required to charge the batteries. Once the batteries are fully charged, excess generated power is fed to the grid via the netmeter. During the night, the charged batteries are used to power the hotel garden lighting. The annual savings from the system is 4,639 kWh, equivalent to a reduction in the hotel's carbon footprint by 3.4 Tonnes.

In addition, the hotel also has a solar hot water system for pre-heating the water before it is sent to the heat exchanger which acts as a storage for hot water. This reduces the furnace oil consumed by the boiler. The hotel will be saving 1,417 litres of furnace oil annually thus mitigating its carbon footprint by 4.6 Tonnes.

The biogas plant uses kitchen garbage as the primary source for the production of biogas which is utilized in the herbal preparation unit of the ayurveda resort.

"It is encouraging that Aitken Spence Hotels has taken the initiative in implementing the first net metering installation in the LECO distribution network with renewable generation. We hope that other private establishments will follow suit and thus reduce the carbon burden on the environment," said Head of Engineering, Lanka Electricity Company (Pvt) Ltd Dr. Narendra De Silva. By adopting net metering, Heritance Hotels further reaffirms their commitment towards practising sustainable tourism.

"The installation of systems such as this help break our dependency on fossil fuels, add to the diversification of our current energy portfolio and most importantly helps lessen the environmental footprint associated with electricity generation and consumption. We all have worked extremely hard in order to maintain our existing sustainability practices while constantly coming up with new and innovative ways of enhancing the edge we have on the sustainability front, and we are delighted to be the first hotel in Sri Lanka to enter into a Net Metering agreement with the Lanka Electricity Company," said Vice President, Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels Rohitha Rajaratne.

Heritance Hotels and Resorts believe passionately in Sustainable Tourism and have been very active in engaging both guests and communities in promoting these ethics.

"All forms of tourism potentially has an environmental, social and economical impact on a country, we at Aitken Spence Hotels take all necessary measures to negate any detrimental impact a guest may have on the environment while holidaying with us," said Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels Malin Hapugoda.

The company's premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. Its latest Heritance property, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, commenced operation in July 2011.

It has joined the award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory.

Siam House wins Best Restaurant award

Siam House, the authentic Thai food restaurant in Colombo, has been awarded "The Best Restaurant" tittle by the Municipal Council of Colombo in recognition of the excellence in cleanliness and food hygiene.

"The Best Restaurant" Award for excellence in cleanliness and food hygiene received recently by this famous food destination show their commitment to provide their clients with a happy and memorable dining experience.

Siam House received this prestigious award at the Awards Ceremony held at Hilton Hotel, Colombo on 8th December 2011.

Siam House, in operation since 1993, has always deserved its place as a top favourite among its loyal clientele of corporate and family diners, tourists and all other fashionable elite.

Surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere filled with sea breeze, Siam House Colombo lets the Diners enjoy authentic Thai cuisine in their enchanting Thai House.


SriLankan Airlines launches easy payment scheme

An exciting new offer from SriLankan Airlines will make travel abroad even more affordable to all their customers. With the introduction of an easy payment scheme, passengers have the option of paying for their ticket with credit cards, in installments of three, six, twelve or even upto twenty four months at their convenience.

Under this scheme, people can now travel abroad for initial rates as low as LKR 725 per month to India, LKR 2,000 per month to many cities in Asia, and LKR 4,000 per month to Europe. These attractive rates make family travel more affordable enabling all SriLankans to experience an overseas trip with their loved ones during the upcoming holiday season.

Passengers can now purchase their tickets online www.srilankan.com using a credit card issued by any of the partner banks and thereby make the payment at their convenience through the easy payment scheme. The partner banks are - Bank of Ceylon, Commercial Bank, HSBC, Seylan Bank and Hatton National Bank. Head of Commercial Operations, Mohamad Fazeel said, "The primary purpose of this facility is to enable more people to indulge in the pleasures of air travel. With all the benefits of modern technology, the world is shrinking at a rapid pace. However there is still a segment of people in this country who think twice before embarking on a foreign trip because of the cost factor. We've turned that around and with this new offer on our website we have brought the world to their doorstep".

With air travel now becoming even more affordable with the introduction of the easy payment scheme, the SriLankan Airlines website - www.srilankan.com is expected to emerge as the most preferred channel for air ticket purchases.

"This facility is open to all Sri Lankans in all income groups. In fact we have a great relationship with our partner banks and this makes it all the more easier and convenient. As the national carrier and a responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to make air travel more affordable and more accessible to as many Sri Lankan consumers as possible." Manager Channel Management, Ajith Weerasekera said.

Sri Lanka's award winning airline flies to six cities in Europe - London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Moscow, Middle East - Kuwait, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Subcontinent region - Karachi, Male, Colombo, Madras, Trichy, Trivandrum, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kochi and the Far East - Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tokyo.

SriLankan's latest destination will be Zurich, with a thrice-weekly service that commences on December 23.


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