Luxury tourism in Sri Lanka: ‘My success is my country, and it’s time to stop underselling it’

 

The New York-based business bible Bloomberg spotlights luxury tourism in Sri Lanka in its latest online profile of the world’s high-achieving businessmen.

In this case it’s Malik Fernando, whose portfolio includes the high-end Castlereagh bungalow resort known as Ceylon Tea Trails in the Hill Country adjoining the family’s famed Dilmah tea plantations.

It is one of Resplendent Ceylon’s most tourism-focused properties, while another standout is Wild Coast Tented Lodge, a seaplane hop to the south coast adjoining Yala National Park.

 

Writes Bloomberg’s Nikki Ekstein: “On 2,000 acres between the property and nearby Yala, Fernando wants to establish his most ambitious initiative: a private wilderness reserve, like those dotting Africa.

“It’s set to open next year and would help reduce congestion in the national park—which can see ‘jungle jams’ of 50 Jeeps swiveling madly toward a single animal—while giving wildlife more protected room to roam.”

Which is good news for the rapidly increasing number of overseas visitor who flock to Sri Lanka hoping to see one—or more— of Yala’s famed leopards in their natural surroundings.

 

Meanwhile, says Bloomberg, “in the past seven years, tourism to the island nation has quadrupled. Now, hospitality leaders like Fernando are creating unique high-end experiences to lure big-spending travelers”.

Fernando estimates that “within three years, Resplendent Ceylon will employ 800 Sri Lankans. That’s nowhere near the size of Dilmah’s workforce, but it’s certainly significant”.

He says: “We’re flying the flag for Sri Lanka the same way my family has at Dilmah over the years.” In tourism, as in tea, he notes, it’s all about the positioning, the packaging, and the pricing. “My success is my country,” he says, “and it’s time to stop underselling it.”

Read more here.

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