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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka: Steel Giant Melwa to build 6 Hilton Hotels, First Negombo Hilton to be the tallest Hotel in the Negombo City

Sri Lanka: Steel Giant Melwa to build 6 Hilton Hotels, First Negombo Hilton to be the tallest Hotel in the Negombo City

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Varshaa Selvanathan


Equity Analytic
Equity Analytic
Hilton Group (NYSE: HLT) has signed six management agreements on today Wednesday the 5th April 2017 with Melwa Hotels & Resorts Private Limited to manage three Hilton Hotels and Resorts and three ‘Double Tree by Hilton’ properties in Sri Lanka.

This agreement will mark the entry of the award-winning ‘Double Tree by Hilton’ brand in Sri Lanka and expands Hilton’s presence in the country. The Hilton group's deal with Sri Lanka’s Melwa Hotels and Resorts is to manage six new properties with an investment of US$100 million. The properties would comprise three Hilton Hotels and Resorts and three DoubleTree by Hilton brands that would see a significant expansion of the Hilton presence in the country, a media release issued by the hotel chain said.

The six new properties are the 150-room Hilton Kandy Resort, 42-room Hilton Yala Resort and Spa, 200-room Hilton Kosgoda Resort, 96-room DoubleTree by Hilton Nuwara Eliya, 200-room DoubleTree by Hilton Colombo International Airport and 96 rooms at DoubleTree by Hilton Negombo. The first two properties to open will be Negombo and Yala in 2019.

Currently the Colombo Hilton and the JAIC Hilton are the properties managed by the international hotel chain.

Hilton’s Vice President for South East Asia and India William Costley told reporters that they have picked key locations to attract travellers and would incorporate local and international designers and architects to design the hotels.

Aiming to attract MICE, leisure and domestic travellers to the new properties, Hilton would manage the properties.

This would be the first time Melwa would be involved in moving into the leisure sector, the company's Business Development Director Dr. Ranjith Bandara told the media today following the signing of the agreement between the two companies.

The six new-build properties, including three resorts scheduled to opened between 2019 and 2025 are:

• Hilton Kandy Resort
• Hilton Yala Resort & Spa
• Hilton Kosgoda Resort
• DoubleTree by Hilton Nuwara-Eliya
• DoubleTree by Hilton Colombo International Airport
• DoubleTree by Hilton Negombo

“Our hotels are strategically located in the heart of key tourist destinations of Kandy, Yala, Kosgoda, Nuwara-Eliya, Colombo and Negombo, allowing them to reap the full benefits of the burgeoning growth in tourism in Sri Lanka,” said Guy Phillips, senior vice president, Development – Asia & Australasia, Hilton.

“We are pleased to be working with a partner of the experience and standing of Melwa Hotels & Resorts to advance our footprint within this dynamic country.”

Given Sri Lanka’s rich natural and cultural heritage, tourism is a chief propellant of economic growth. Sri Lanka’s tourism appeal is widely recognized, with the country ranked among the “Top 10 Coolest Countries” in the world to visit in 2015, by Forbes magazine.

Total international arrivals have been charting an impressive growth trajectory and in 2016, tourist arrivals surpassed all previous records to hit a new milestone of more than two million – a 14 percent increase from 2015.

The government has also launched a series of initiatives to grow tourism, embarking on key infrastructure developments such as expanding the national road network which will positively impact the six proposed hotels.

“We are delighted to add to our existing portfolio in Sri Lanka with our world-class Hilton Hotels &Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton brands in highly attractive destinations within the country, and we look forward to welcoming guests with our renowned Hilton hospitality,” said Sean Wooden, vice president, brand management, Asia Pacific, Hilton.

“With few international hotel brands having a widespread presence throughout the country, Hilton will enjoy the first mover advantage in riding on Sri Lanka’s growth trajectory.”

Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, such as an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay.

Members can also redeem their Points for free nights, and can gain access to unique events through the Hilton Honors auction platform.

Melwa Hotels & Resorts Private Limited is a company owned by Sri Lanka's Melwa Steel Group which has been an emerging group in the post war Sri Lanka. Melwa group and its founders currently own a larger stake also in Sri Lanka's Cargills Bank and previously had a controlling stake in the startup venture Find My Fare- findmyfare.com which is Sri Lanka's largest online travel company that was later sold to Emerald Sri Lanka Fund – of Zephyr Management managed by NDB Zephyr Partners. Melwa group had supplied steel to Post-War Sri Lanka's largest infrastructure projects such as Bandaranaike International Airport Expansion, Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, Souther Expressway, Akuregoda Defence Headquarters, Hambanthota Port, Mattala International Airport, and many more over the last 15 years of group history.

The Melwa group's entrance to Leisure and Hotel sector thus marks milestone in the group's expansion from Steel to other sectors and group recently opened the company's latest Steel Manufacturing Plant close to Bandaranaike International Airport after purchasing a former Blue Diamonds owned land according to Market Analysts.

Melwa and Melwire Official Site - http://melwire.com/inspiration/

MalcolmTurnbull


Equity Analytic
Equity Analytic
Will they list the Melwa Hotels Group? May be after 3 years or something?

anges


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
FINALLY SOME MONEY COMING IN !

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