The first lounge party has been organized for December 19 while the first event will be held onboard the venue on Christmas Day (December 25), he said. The boat will have two levels, the lower deck will be fully air conditioned while the upper deck will be an open area. The main purpose is to create this as an attraction for travellers to visit while in Colombo, Mr. Gruhier said.
The floating restaurant will be handled by the hotel and will also feature a band, deleted and dancers as requested by the client and is likely to be an ideal venue for birthday parties, weddings and thank you parties, the GM said. While occupancies for this winter season are over 70%, the hotel has witnessed an increase in business travellers by 6%, he said.
More flexibility needs to be provided in the ease of doing business and starting companies in Sri Lanka in order to become more attractive to investors, Mr. Gruhier observed. In the meantime, John Keells Holdings is keenly eyeing its next project on Green Path that will target construction of 245 rooms on 60 perches with limited service and scheduled to be completed by 2014, the General Manager said.
He pointed out that this project is aimed at attracting the junior and middle executives that require hi tech but are unable to afford to stay at five star hotels. The opening of the new express highway direct from Colombo has become an attractive link to the South, Mr. Gruhier said adding that the “Night Races” and city shopping will be attractions for travellers to stay here for one extra day.
He noted that Sri Lanka should be capable of charging value for money with the product offering and services charged the right value. In the wake of the economic downturn in Europe however, Mr. Gruhier noted that Sri Lanka is unlikely to be impacted heavily as the country is able to balance it out with arrivals from other countries.