Crown Limited yesterday released draft images, project details and a website for its proposed 5-star luxury integrated resort in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
It is intended that the integrated resort, to be branded "Crown Sri Lanka", will be a "must-see" landmark tourist resort located by the side of the Beira Lake in the heart of the Colombo resort district. Crown Sri Lanka is intended to be contemporary and iconic in design and will provide a luxury resort experience that the Crown brand is renowned for throughout Asia.
The proposed Crown Sri Lanka Resort will be a facility with approximately 450 rooms and suites, signature dining experiences and entertainment offerings, conferencing and event spaces, gaming areas, retail outlets and a specially designed water feature attraction on the Beira Lake.
On the immense international tourism opportunity provided by the project, Chairman of Crown Resorts, James Packer said:
"A proposed Crown resort would help redefine luxury tourism in Sri Lanka and play a significant role in helping to drive increased international in-bound tourism, especially from the emerging middle classes in India and China."
Mr Packer recognised the growth of tourism in Sri Lanka and his personal fondness for the country, stating;
"Sri Lanka is a beautiful and unique country, it has overcome a great deal of adversity and is growing strongly, I am confident it has a very bright future. I am extremely excited about working together with the Sri Lankan people, because the country has huge tourism appeal and the potential to develop a mass traveller market. I truly believe as a destination that it is "Sri Lanka's time to shine in Asia."
An integrated resort on the waterfront in Colombo can also assist Sri Lanka to compete with other global cities for major international conferences and events. Integrated resorts are now regarded by governments and tourism authorities as critical pieces of tourism infrastructure. The proposed Crown Sri Lanka Resort could serve as a key feature of future Sri Lankan bids for world class sporting, business and cultural events. Mr Packer stated.
Crown noted that it remains in detailed discussions with the Sri Lankan Government and potential joint venture partners on the proposed project. Both the Sri Lankan Parliament and the Sri Lankan Board of Investment (BOI) are also in the process of considering whether it is appropriate to grant investment approvals for the project which is a key step in the development of the Crown Sri Lanka integrated resort. In addition, the project is subject to final agreement between the potential joint venture parties and receipt of a number of other approvals. It is anticipated that, should it proceed, the total project cost to the joint venture would be approximately US$400 million.
Mr Packer, on the potential employment impact of the project, said;
"It is expected that the proposed resort would employ around 2,500 Sri Lankans and Crown's record on training and education is first-class. We have committed ourselves to providing careers and employment pathways for Sri Lanka's youth from around the country should this project proceed."
Australian Cricket Captain, Michael Clarke has agreed to work closely with Crown on the education and training aspects of the proposed project. He will support Crown's employment programs as a mentor and role model and make visits to the country in his role as Crown Sri Lanka Education Ambassador to support job seekers and Crown trainees.
In addition to employment, it is expected that the proposed Crown Sri Lanka Resort will provide a substantial boost to the Sri Lankan economy, through the investment in the facility, the expenditure incurred in operating the facility and through stimulating tourism. The proposed resort is also expected to generate significant tax revenue for Sri Lanka.
James Packer noted that cricket legend and Sri Lankan tourist Ambassador Tony Greig, had encouraged and helped pave the way for Crown to come to Sri Lanka, and that Tony's wife Vivian was also highly supportive of the project. Mr Packer said;
"Tony had a great love for the people of Sri Lanka and was always a wonderful advocate for their interests. He certainly believed in Sri Lanka's great tourism potential and urged Australian companies like Crown to invest. I am happy to say that Tony's commitment and legacy to Sri Lanka is being carried on by his wife Vivian who is publicly, highly supportive of the proposed Crown Sri Lanka project and deeply committed to the wellbeing of the Sri Lankan people."
Crown yesterday launched its new website www.crownsrilanka.com and will provide further details regarding this proposed joint venture project if a final agreement is reached and the necessary approvals are obtained.