Aitken Spence Hotels, one of Sri Lanka’s largest groups in the hotel industry plans to seek asset-light management opportunities in Sri Lanka and overseas.
The group currently has 11 hotels in the island and 12 hotels across the Maldives, Oman and India. Of these Aitken Spence owns all properties under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands except for three properties in Sri Lanka and three more in Oman.
“The group is actively pursuing opportunities to widen its portfolio of managed properties in Sri Lanka, in existing destinations as well as in new markets,” Managing Director, Parakrama Dissanayake told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.
The decision to pursue asset light management opportunities is underpinned by the notable performance of the hotels based in Oman and the Maldives.
Dissanayake noted that the group’s capital expenditure has primarily been directed towards the South Asia and Middle East region where they see long-term potential growth.
With the successful launch of the group’s first Heritance hotel in the Maldives, Heritance Aarah, Aitken Spence hopes to enhance its portfolio by refurbishing and repositioning several of their properties in the Maldives.
Aitken Spence is positive that by November of this year the tourism sector will recover and the impact from April 21 events would be minimised. April arrival statistics dropped by 7.5 per cent versus April 2018 data records. With several countries easing their travel advisories, many are hopeful that it will change the course tourism has taken in the last two months.
He added that they have plans to renovate some of their Heritance properties in Sri Lanka in order to position themselves on a better light to compete alongside newer hotels. In addition, Aitken Spence is looking to “expand their room capacity through the construction or acquisition of new properties.”
The group’s latest additions, Hotel RIU Sri Lanka and Heritance Negombo had exceeded expectations and contributed significantly to the sector’s pre-tax profit which grew by 23 per cent.
Aitken Spence also pursued growth in new markets such as Australia, where they set up a representation office to implement targeted promotional activities.