Sri Lanka is one of the best destinations in the world to spot Dolphins.

Ancient Ruin Cities

Amazing history and architecture in Sri Lanka


Turtles in Sri Lanka


Wild Elephants of Sri Lanka


Luxury Hotels in Sri Lanka

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa receives four-star certification

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse recently awarded Chaaya Tranz Hikkaduwa with a fourstar certification. The hotel was audited in every aspect of its hardware and software skills by an eminent panel of auditors representing Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and industry professionals prior to being classified as a four-star tourist hotel.

The four-star rating achieved reflects that the hotel maintains an overall high quality of service standard and provides its guests superior comfort and quality accommodation together with a highly skilled staff.

At the ceremony, Minister Rajapaksa noted that there has been a steep development in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka with the arrival of nearly one million tourists in 2012. This has been the most number of tourist arrivals since the end of nearly three decades of unrest.

He also noted that as the tourist numbers are steadily rising there would be a greater demand for starrated hotels with superior facilities on the island. The minister predicted that by 2016, this number would increase to 2.5 million.

The minister projected that through the five-year tourism development plan that has been initiated, the tourism industry in Sri Lanka would be worth three billion dollars by 2016. This would result in 500,000 job opportunities associated with the industry and the construction of 50,000 hotel rooms.

“We are pleased to receive this certification as Sri Lanka is gearing up to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia,” said Sanjeeva Perera.

“To keep up with the demand of tourists arriving on our shores, our aim at Chayya Tranz Hikkaduwa is to create unmatched and memorable experiences for our customers and give them an unforgettable holiday experience,” he said.

Chaaya Tranz Hikkadwa also obtained certifications for adopting focused environmental system, stringent hygiene, food and safety practices, as well as international occupational health and safety management systems recently.

Original post found here...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hotels get their stars: Jetwing Blue gets 5

Bluewhale Travels

A number of star class hotels have come up to provide better facilities for the rising number of tourists arriving in Sri Lanka, giving a further boost to Sri Lanka’s rapidly developing tourism industry. In 2012 alone one million tourists arrived in the country.  

Sri Lanka expects to increase this number to two million by 2016 making the island one of the most popular tourist destinations since the end of nearly three decades of anti-terrorist war, a statement issued by the Economic Development Ministry said.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa predicted an increase in the demand for Sri Lanka’s tourist hotels by giving them star class certification to provide both foreign and local tourists with a quality service.  

He said this at a ceremony held in Colombo in connection with the issuance of the certificates to tourist hotels by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

At the event, a five star certificate was issued to the Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo, four star certificates to Jaya Wild Yala, Jaya Trans Hikkaduwa and Jetwing Sea Negombo and a three star certificate to Sanmira Renaissance, Unawatuna.

There is a great demand worldwide for environment-friendly hotels and such facilities in Sri Lanka would attract an increasing number of tourists to this country, according to the minister Basil Rajapaksa.

The annual foreign exchange earnings through the five-year tourism development plan under Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s guidance will be nearly three billion dollars by 2016.  It would create 500,000 job opportunities associated with the industry, which will result in the construction of 50,000 hotel rooms.

Already a number of tourism-related programmes have been launched covering the island’s beaches, wild life, heritage, ayurveda, sports, natural beauty, marriage ceremonies and other local traditions and also eight specially identified areas, the ministry said.

Original Post Found Here :

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Record-breaking 950,000th tourist for 2012 arrives today

Sri Lanka will welcome its 950,000th tourist today, 13 days before the year-end – the scheduled date to reach this target as mentioned in the Five-Year Strategic Plan of Sri Lanka Tourism.
A passenger will be picked from the charter flight arriving at approximately 8:25 a.m. at the Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake as the 950,000th tourist by Sri Lanka Tourism. All attention was on the industry last month to ascertain whether it could reach the initial target of 950,000 or exceed it and achieve one million by the year-end, in the backdrop of the drop in occupancy in November and the slowing down of the growth rate compared to 2011.
The last available data for tourist arrivals was for October 2012, with 80,379 tourists arriving, bringing the total arrivals for the first 10 month to 774,151.
Sri Lanka reached its 2011 target of 800,000 tourists last year on 19 December. The industry maintained momentum since the war ended in 2009 to reach a total of 855,975 tourists last year – a record-breaking figure in the history of Sri Lanka tourism. The expectation now is to aim for the milestone one million mark by 31 December.
Source :

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lãya Safari opens in Yala

Bluewhale Travels
‘Lãya Safari’ declared open by Speaker of the Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa. Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya is also present. Pic By Pradeep Dilruckshana

The Sri Lanka Army-owned newest holiday resort in the deep southern wild, ‘Lãya Safari’ at Palatupana, Yala bordering the Yala National Sanctuary was declared open by Speaker of the Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa with the presence of Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya.

It is one of the three major holiday resorts of the Army, rebranded to exploit the country’s fast-swelling hospitality industry. The eco friendly ‘Lãya Safari’ has 30 luxury rooms in 10 cabanas.

‘Lãya Safari’ with all state-of-the-art facilities including pool bars, coffee shops and restaurants with all international culinary flavours is manned by a civil team of 57 hoteliers round the clock, apart from a staff of Army personnel assisting its smooth functioning.

Source :

Monday, December 10, 2012

Heritance Ahungalla clinches Gold at Green Awards

Bluewhale TravelsHeritance Hotels was once again in the spotlight when Heritance Ahungalla was presented with the Gold Award at the National Green Awards concluded recently at the BMICH.

Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurs, industrialists, and other stakeholders who contribute their share for environmental conservation and anti pollution were recognized for their excellence in green practice, strategy and products. Organized by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), The National Green Awards scheme was initiated in order to provide an alternative system to controlling pollution and greening the environment instead of the existing command and control approaches and education & awareness programmes. The main aim of the all island programme is to promote sustainable management of the environment in order to achieve a green country through a clean green environment.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion which was held for the second consecutive year. Forty nine awards were presented under 16 categories with environmentally-friendly organizations being selected by an expert panel of judges after a lengthy review of their performance.

Heritance Ahungalla, a hotel committed to sustainable practices has been recognized both locally and internationally for service excellence, culinary expertise as well as its sustainability initiatives. The Hotel was certified for Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011 and was recognized as the first resort in the world to receive the certification. The Heritance Ahungalla Team consciously makes efforts to conserve energy and preserve the ecological balance around its stunning property. To minimise social risk in the environment the hotel operates, Heritance Ahungalla offers internships that also helps to build community relations. The hotel donates generously to the local community particularly to help children and elder care programmes.

“It is a tremendous achievement that all our properties in Sri Lanka have sustainability policies which are adhered to stringently which has resulted in all our local hotels including Hotel Hilltop and Bandarawela Hotel attaining the prestigious Earth Check Silver status. We will continue to drive our commitment towards a sustainable operation with a sustainability focus that transcends beyond mere operational to one that is strategic, we seek to create an organization-wide culture that in turn will inspire individuals to act as catalysts for global change”, said Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels has set precedence to other hotels on how they too can be effective responsible tourism players by contributing in terms of conserving the natural environment, protecting bio diversity, empowering local communities, supporting livelihoods dependent on tourism, preserving local traditions, arts and crafts and mitigating climate change especially by using bio mass as renewable energy.

The company’s premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. The award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance.

Source :

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Top travel bloggers select Top 13 destinations for 2013

Everything Everywhere (Gary Arndt), Legal Nomads (Jodi Ettenberg), Nomadic Matt (Matt Kepnes), Uncornered Market (Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott) and Wild Junket (Nellie Huang) are all part of G Adventures’ Wanderers in Residence programme.

G Adventures works with this group of top travel bloggers to help expand travellers’ horizons and to embrace what might initially be seen as bizarre by giving expert insights into destinations.

The hottest G Adventures destinations tipped by our Wanderers for 2013 are:
  1. Brazil – Increased profile with the pending football World Cup in 2014 and Summer Olympics in 2016 mean this South American gem’s star is on the rise. Our thrifty Wanderers in Residence advise getting there before prices hike further.
  2. Albania – Southeastern Europe is evolving and increasing its presence on the ‘hot destination’ map. Expect Albania and its Adriatic coastline to increase in popularity as a result.
  3. Burma – Since the election last year Burma has opened up and visitors heading there now have the opportunity to experience both ‘then’ and ‘now’. We recommend getting there before it becomes the new ‘it’ spot in Asia.
  4. Mongolia – Mongolia is becoming more attractive as travelling from China has been made easier, meaning travellers can see more in one trip.
  5. New Zealand – This media-loving country sees its name back in lights with the release of The Hobbit in December. New Zealand’s stunning scenery beamed up on the silver screen is sure to entice travellers down under.
  6. Bolivia – A lack of crowds, reasonable prices and stunning scenery from the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in the south to Lake Titicaca in the north, make this less-visited South American location a top pick in 2013.
  7. Sri Lanka – Comeback kid Sri Lanka is back on the tourist map. It’s not as cheap as it used to be, but with new direct flights from the UK and renewed tour operator confidence combined, 2013 should see it make a healthy return.
  8. Turkey – Not a newcomer to the scene but as more tourists visit its lesser-known areas such as Antalya and Trabzon on the Black Sea coast, it is likely to break away from the city break and package holiday markets.
  9. Iceland – A country that has battled with the image of being expensive in the past, Iceland has grown in popularity with tourists and new flight routes in 2013 should help publicity further.
  10. Singapore – This island nation has seen a lot of recent development and we can expect it to be in the spotlight as it celebrates its 50th year of independence from the United Kingdom in 2013.
  11. Namibia – With deserts, dunes, and safari opportunities, Namibia is becoming a real alternative for visitors to Africa.
  12. Jordan – Having raised its profile in 2012 following the anniversaries of both the rediscovery of Petra and the release of Lawrence of Arabia Jordan is now firmly placed on the tourist map. It also managed to escape much of the affect the Arab Spring had on tourism in the region.
  13. Zanzibar – 1963 also saw Zanzibar become independent from Great Britain after 50 years, so now’s a great time to go and trace the footsteps of one its most famous inhabitants, Freddie Mercury, who moved to Britain soon after.
The Wanderers in Residence join G Adventures on various adventures through the year, speak at travel events on the company’s behalf and work closely with its non-profit Planeterra. G Adventures seeks to build a better world through travel and encouraging people to explore.

Source :

Thursday, December 6, 2012