According to Christian Pertl, the chief commercial officer of the Sri Lanka based luxury hotel group, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts has already started evaluating the countries and partners that go with the brand.
The group currently owns three properties in Colombo, eight resort properties around Sri Lanka and four resorts in the Maldives. Its new and 16th property, Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort, is expected to be ready by 2024-end.
Tourism in Sri Lanka has been struggling to recover from the ‘triple whammy’ since 2019. First the blasts, followed by Covid-19 pandemic and the latest economic crisis hit the industry the hardest.
In the past year that the world resumed travel and the industry bounced back, the island nation has been working hard to reinstate the larger sentiment – that things are normal and the country is safe to travel. During this period, the group consciously worked to engage with the tourism stakeholders in India and encourage them to visit the island nation.
“Of the 2,333,796 tourist arrivals that were recorded for Sri Lanka in 2018-19, 23 per cent visited the Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts. In 2022-23, the percentage went up to 39 per cent of the total tourist arrivals (719,978) recorded for Sri Lanka,” shared Pertl.
The top markets contributing to this have been from India, Russia, United Kingdom, China, Germany and Australia.
India, said Pertl, is among the top three key source markets for Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, and also among the top five key source markets for Sri Lanka in terms of tourist arrivals from India.
“India has always been an important market for Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts,” said Pertl. “The main cities we see traffic coming in are from Delhi and Mumbai, followed by Bengaluru and Chennai. It is for these reasons Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts has strategically invested in the set-up of Global Sales offices in 2022 to strengthen the brand’s presence in the market,” Pertl informed. The group has a dedicated team based out of Delhi and Mumbai that include experienced local hospitality professionals to facilitate engagement from the trade and consumer segments and expand Cinnamon’s strategic partnerships with existing as well as new Indian carriers.
“In the past year, we have actively participated in roadshows and other activities supported by Sri Lanka tourism to push the case for tourism forward for the island nation. We also participated in big-ticket events and entered into partnerships with airline companies, hotels and OTAs in our bid to solidify our association,” he said.
It is part of such a tie-up that Cinnamon is one of the properties that will host the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Annual Convention to be held in July 2023. The convention was originally planned to be held around the same time last year. The aim being to boost confidence towards the destination, especially among the key segments of Indian travellers – the leisure traveller, religious tourism (Ramayana), wedding photography and the business travellers.
While insisting that Cinnamon is an ideal choice for a Corporate MICE and leisure traveller looking for good deals, value for money and a myriad of different experiences while travelling, Pertl said that the group is now “working on the summer campaign for our resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives which will launched early June 2023.”
“This will be an offer that will be attractive for the leisure traveller if you are traveling as a couple or as a family,” he concluded.