Monday, September 10, 2007

Srilankan hoteliers eye the Maldives

Srilankan hoteliers are exploring the possibilities of investing in the Maldives after the authorities there offered joint ventures for the development of resorts on four islands, industry sources say. “Hemas Group, Jetwing Group and the Mount Lavinia Hotel Group are interested in putting up hotels in the Maldives,” an industry source said.

The Maldivian government called for fresh bids to seek proposal from interested parties to undertake Joint Venture activities with Airport Investments Maldives Pvt Ltd. (AIM), for the development of a 200-bed tourist resort on each of the four islands - Dh. Maafushi, Th. Olhugiri, Sh. Farukolhu and G.Dh. Raalhe’odegella.

Jetwing officials said they had evaluated it but felt it was too expensive. “The investment that was talked about is something like US$ 20 million to enter the country and for most of us it is too expensive,” one official told The Sunday Times FT. However, the other two groups along with several others are keen on the proposals. Officials from those companies were unavailable for comment.

Aitken Spence, John Keells and a few Sri Lankan operators already run resorts in the Maldives, helping these companies to cushion the blow from their properties in Sri Lanka where the sector has been shaky due to the ethnic conflict.

Source: Sunday Times

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