Hilton plans major expansion in Sri Lanka

Hilton hotels has major expansion plans for Sri Lanka with three Hilton Hotels & Resorts and four DoubleTree by Hilton set to open in the country.

Paul Hutton, vice president, Operations, South East Asia, Hilton told Colombo Gazette and our leisure website Leisure Plus – Sri Lanka, that since opening their first property in Sri Lanka, Hilton Colombo, 30 years ago, Hilton continues to redefine the local hospitality landscape.

“Today, with the potential that we’re seeing in Sri Lanka’s flourishing travel and tourism sector as the country gears up to welcome more than 3 million tourists by 2022, we have no intention of slowing down,” he said.

Hutton said that they currently have seven properties in the pipeline in Sri Lanka and over the next three to five years, they will add three Hilton Hotels & Resorts and four DoubleTree by Hilton properties to the portfolio.

This includes the first DoubleTree hotel in Weerawila, Double Tree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort which will open later this year.

Paul Hutton

This will be followed by DoubleTree by Hilton Negombo Resort which is targeted to open next year.

Sean Wooden, vice president, Brand Management, Asia Pacific, Hilton said that as the most hospitable company in the world, they have a thorough understanding of the distinct and varied preferences and expectations of the modern traveler.

“We appreciate, for instance, that today’s traveler seeks unique, exceptional experiences that can be shared on social media. In fact, this trend is one of the main reasons for the surge in inbound travel to Sri Lanka – tourists are increasingly drawn to the “unmissable experiences” such as wildlife tourism that Sri Lanka, recently named the best country in the world to visit in 2019, offers,” he told told Colombo Gazette and our leisure website Leisure Plus – Sri Lanka.

Sean Wooden said that to cater to the needs of these travelers, Hilton has made it its priority to provide accessibility to key attractions in Sri Lanka, and the upcoming DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort is ideally situated near three of the Top 10 most visited Wildlife National Park and Sanctuaries in the country.

“We also need to ensure an availability of options for leisure travelers, especially as Asian Pacific travelers show a higher propensity for leisure travel, taking an average of 2.7 international leisure trips over the last two years. Hence, we seek to offer our guests plenty of options for leisure and recreation, from fishing and bird watching, to village experience tours and a walking track,” he said.

He also said that, at the same time, food tourism is becoming one of the most memorable and important experiences for travelers, overtaking even sightseeing and shopping – and this is particularly true of millennials.

“We therefore aim to offer opportunities for guests to sample Sri Lankan heritage cuisine. This extends beyond the menu – to complete the authentic dining experience and make it even

Sean Wooden

more immersive, we’ve also included local Sri Lankan design elements in our restaurants, encompassing décor and furniture, as well as artwork,” he said.

In addition, knowing that comfort and convenience remain a fundamental expectation of today’s guests, who continue to seek that sense of “home away from home” in their travels, Hilton is looking forward to bringing its signature warm hospitality to travelers in Sri Lanka.

“It is our belief that a hotel should be more than a place, stay or destination; to us, it’s the little things that make a big difference, and we pay attention to every detail to ensure a best-in-class guest experience – from genuine warm welcomes featuring our signature warm DoubleTree Cookie, and thoughtful gestures, to small acts of kindness throughout a guest’s stay.”

Hilton has become woven into the fabric of communities all over the globe and in the company’s 100th year, global growth continues with the expansion of DoubleTree by Hilton across the Asia Pacific.



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