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‘All the good in the world’ this season

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Premier hospitality chain, Aitken Spence Hotels, celebrates this festive season with a unique campaign aimed at paying tribute to “All the good in the world”. This year’s theme is inspired by the silver linings that have truly made a difference in the world today, amidst the disruptive events that unravelled since March 2020.

Curated around the ethos of ‘giving back’ and ‘sharing’ – two essential components that illustrates the heart of the festive season – the hospitality arm of the Group has created a range of activities that reiterates the spirit of Christmas, across its hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman.

Close to home, Closer to heart

Under this overarching theme, the domestic campaign “Close to home, Closer to heart” reaches out to those travelling with a purpose. Encouraging guests to spend their holidays in a space that feels like home – close to their own residences, and closer yet to the heart at Aitken Spence Hotels, Sri Lanka. Belonging to the chain of Hotels; Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Negombo, Heritance Ahungalla, Heritance Tea Factory, Turyaa Kalutara, Amethyst Resort Passikudah, Bandarawela Hotel and, Earl’s Regency and Earl’s Regent in Kandy – promises a rewarding experience, welcoming all to partake in a holiday that goes beyond just another vacation.

Taking on ‘a season of giving’, Aitken Spence Hotels Sri Lanka has pledged 1% of their turnover between 1 Dec 2020 and 15 January 2021 to purchase school supplies for children in and around the locality of the resorts in Sri Lanka. The Group also encourages guests to partake in this endeavor by choosing Aitken Spence Hotels as their home away from home this December and further contribute to the cause by donating to Spence Evoluzione Charitable Trust, which will further facilitate the cause.

Celebrating the brave hearts

In appreciation of the hard work and dedication of the local military and healthcare professionals, the hospitality group has also extended special discounts up to 58% under its ‘brave heart’ celebratory drive. Bookable during the month of December, the national heroes can enjoy a relaxing holiday at its resorts –– from January to March 2021.

Love from Yonder

Not forgetting the families who are kept apart from their loved ones due to the pandemic, the group has also made available bespoke and pre-made hampers as well as share meal platters that can be ordered online and delivered to the doors of their near and dear. With a range of sweet and savory treats, unique hampers including local sweetmeat hampers ideal for the new year and an array of pre-planned meals for families of six to eight, the Group’s Heritance Hotels and Resorts are going all out in promoting a season of sharing, carefully crafted by their team of award-winning chefs.

Tying in with the overall domestic campaign of “Close to home, Closer to heart” the lineup of treats include those closer to our palettes with new and innovative twists – such as billing chutney, rhubarb jam and a localised hamper with traditional favourites. Made in line with the Group’s sustainable and community development, ingredients are also largely, locally sourced.

A season like no other

Speaking of this incredible spin on the season of festivities, Stasshani Jayawardena, Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism and Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotel Managements, noted that the theme came naturally given its longstanding commitment to empower and inspire. “From the inception, Aitken Spence Hotels is known to have led the way for greater things within the industry. From sustainability to F&B to community engagement, we have always been at the forefront.

The values and traditions that envelope us as a company is based on a premise of appreciation. Whilst it is easy to delve on the negative connotations based on the black swan event that has interrupted our lives as we knew it, we take this as an opportunity to appreciate and provide for those in need.”

She added; “We are grateful to all our patrons and partners who chose to stay, dine, celebrate and work with us in the past months. This is our way of paying it forward.”

Trendsetters in the industry, Aitken Spence Hotels hold a special place in the hearts of many, built on trust and loyalty over the years. With seasonal activities planned at all their properties to create a relaxing and stress-free holiday, they also maintain heightened health and safety practices, in line with local and international healthcare standards.

To be a part of a unique season and for more information, log on to www.aitkenspence.com or www.heritancehotelsandresorts.com

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Business

Bull run on CSE acquires further momentum

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“Market’s gone crazy, when will the bubble burst?”, asks broker

The mind-boggling on the Colombo Stock Exchange which on Friday drove the benchmark All Share Price Index up by 291.34 points – “perhaps the biggest ever single day gain,” a broker said, has left brokers, market players and investors stunned.

“The market’s gone crazy,” a leading broker said requesting anonymity. “It’s an ever-growing bubble and nobody can say when it will burst. It is difficult to sustain this kind of momentum without foreign and institutional buying.”

Mr. Niroshan Wijesundera, the head of marketing at the CSE, said that Friday’s peak of the ASPI had fallen a little short of the highest ever 7,811 achieved on Feb. 14, 2011.

But brokers speaking from memory reckoned that the Rs. 12.46 billion turnover was among the highest ever achieved without special transactions like takeovers etc. done on the trading floor.

While some analysts said that the bull run was without any scientific basis, Wijesundera said it was largely retail driven.

“The very low prevailing interest rates would have influenced fund movement to the stock market,” he said. “Also, global markets are moving up.”

Brokers said that that Friday’s upward momentum was fueled largely by the LOLC and Hayleys groups with LOLC Holdings which has been moving up for the past several days seeing its share price up Rs. 45.25 from the previous close with over 5.64 million shares traded traded. The counter generated a turnover of Rs. 1.17 billion.

LOLC is controlled by its deputy chairman, Ishara Nanayakkara and related parties, while Hayleys is controlled by Dhammika Perera. Although LOLC has paid no dividends since 2012, shareholders have been compensated with capital appreciation of its shares. The group was involved in a mega international deal last year, selling its 70% stake in Cambodia’s leading micro-finance company for Rs. 120 billion.

Haycarb, the activated carbon manufacturing subsidiary of Hayleys, saw its share gaining 72.75 to close at Rs. 757.75 on 218,609 shares traded between Rs. 685 and Rs. 737 through 479 transactions. Hayleys itself was up Rs. 21 to Rs. 491.25 and Dipped Products up Rs. 19.75 to close at Rs. 401.25 on 1.83 million shares transacted 1,157 trades.

 

 

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Stafford Motors starts their two-wheeler recon. operations

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Covid-19 outbreak has majorly affected the transportation sector in the country as people are more reluctant to use public transportation modes. As to provide a safer day today transportation to their devoted customers, the Stafford Motor Company (Pvt.) Ltd has taken a step forward to deliver Honda two-wheelers engraved with trust and confidence.

The company has taken the initiative to offer Stafford certified reconditioned two wheelers to their valued customers in order to continue their services even during the ongoing import restrictions. The company is purchasing used two-wheelers and then a series of inspections with a condition check is conducted before they taken it into their re-conditioned two wheeler operations. Mainly, the Mechanical faults are addressed by experienced and skilled technical experts and the required parts are replaced with Honda genuine spares which enhances the functionality and reliability of the unit. The main aim of the company is to offer a Honda two-wheeler under the renowned name of Stafford Motors with certified Quality and deliver their two-wheelers for a reasonable price to its loyal customers while purchasing can be done by cash or lease. A warranty period of three months or 3000 km is provided with these reconditioned Two- wheelers certified by the company. Stafford Motor Company (Pvt.) Ltd is ready to provide a trade-in offer for their loyal customers which will allow them to exchange their current Honda two-wheeler and upgrade it to a Stafford Certified brand new looking two wheeler.

Stafford Motor Company (Pvt.) Ltd. being the sole distributor of world renowned Honda products in Sri Lanka is the best place to purchase a re-conditioned two-wheeler as it is always at the forefront of the two-wheeler market by understanding the needs of the customers while offering the best products with the highest quality for past 40 years.

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LOLC General Insurance looking at expanding into potential international markets

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With LOLC expanding into many markets in Asia and Africa, LOLC General Insurance is also optimistic of expanding insurance services and products to several selected and potential international markets in the near future, says Kithsiri Gunawardena, CEO of LOLC General Insurance,.

“LOLC Group has a very strong and highly respected brand presence in all the markets we operate. In some of these markets, the Insurance industry is in the early stages of development. Thus, the regulators are keen on the introduction of micro insurance products to support small and medium scale businesses for systemic stability”, he said.

LOLC General Insurance, a fully-owned subsidiary of the LOLC Group recently became Sri Lanka’s first General Insurance company to achieve Rs. 6 Billion Gross Written Premium (GWP) in less than 10 years.

The company reached the Rs. 6 Billion mark in December 2020, becoming the fastest General Insurance company to achieve this milestone in the industry.

“LOLC General Insurance is a young company compared to the rest in the industry. During the last few years, we continuously streamlined the processes and achieved greater coordination between different units of the company. The entire staff was motivated to work as one team and embark on a customer centric approach. A scheme was introduced whereby a pre-designated percentage of the company profits are shared with our staff thereby elevating them to become true stakeholders of our business”, Gunawardena noted.

“We also critically analyzed our expenses and introduced mechanisms to achieve greater efficiency and productivity. The combination of these measures and our aggressive sales model supported by the commitment of our team resulted in the company being able to secure a substantial volume of new business outside of the group reflecting that we are well aligned to the needs of the market”, the CEO said.

With a service first mind-set and the strong backing of the LOLC Group, LOLC General Insurance became the fastest growing Insurer in the industry with the highest growth in Motor as well as Non-Motor portfolios. This achievement was also made possible by the trust and confidence placed in the company by customers throughout the country as well as the indispensable contribution made by our staff, he outlined.

The aggressive approach in sales, flexibility in policy options and a customer centric product portfolio has enabled this growth over the years. The company hopes to maintain the same focus, approach and excellence in the years ahead to sustain this growth momentum, Gunawardena further said.

He said the year 2020 was probably the most challenging for most businesses in the country and the insurance industry recorded a negative growth. Interestingly, LOLC General Insurance managed to record its best performance during this year. Although external operating conditions remained challenging, the General Insurance business performed steadily, he added.

“Most disruptions create opportunities and we capitalised on becoming even more aggressive when most others opted to be cautious. By December 2020, we were able to reach the Rs. 6 Bn mark mainly because of the commitment of our team who were always geared and motivated to offer uninterrupted services to the customers even during the pandemic”, he continued.

The aggressive business model, highly motivated and loyal staff, passionate leadership, unstinted reputation within the market on service quality and last but not least the strong backing of the LOLC Group is what makes us stand apart, Gunawardena stressed.

The opportunities are immense in the market. With a saturated Motor market and the challenge of limited new registrations for the foreseeable future, the price and service will be key in this sphere. The Non-Motor market is noticeably under-penetrated and this gives LOLC General Insurance opportunities to grow with our unique products and services to customers, he said.

On future expansion plans, he noted that 2021 will see innovations in terms of customer engagement with respect to digital transformation as well as unique product ranges and service standards being introduced. By locating branches strategically, the company is enhancing customer convenience.

“Our focus on accomplishing full automation remains strong with the entire process automated end-to-end, from meeting the customer to the point of delivery while policy servicing is achieved via technology platforms. The country-wide reach will be enhanced with the formation of new regions/branches and close to 70 dedicated service points being established”, Gunawardena emphasized.

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