12th May 2011, www.dailynews.lk, By Charumini De Silva
The Taj Airport Garden hotel was rebranded as The Gateway Hotel yesterday. This is the first Gateway Hotel launched outside India.
Speaking at the strategic announcement the Indian Hotels Company Ltd., Gateway Hotels, Chief Operating Officer, P.K Mohankumar said the Gateway Hotel is expanding its capacity with an investment of US$ 10 million, while adding another 100 rooms. The expansion project will be completed by end 2012.
The Gateway Hotel primarily caters to the up-scale business travellers, while entertaining the lifestyle holiday travellers as well. The business travellers mainly look for the efficiency, accountability and entertainment.
“Sri Lanka is now on the development path and the country is rich in all sources to benchmark itself as a tourist destination. Like the Tata Group many global giants have conducted market researches before they tap into the market. Sri Lanka is now one of the potential destinations, hence it is timely and vital to build hotels to cater all forms of tourist segments,” Mohankumar said.
Sri Lanka has got the cosmopolitan touch during the post-war era as many of the hotel quickly moved forward with refurbishments and new hotels. I must sincerely pay my gratitude to those hoteliers, which sustained their business even during the hardships that the tourism industry had to undergo. In parallel to the industry growth fusion of infrastructure development has to take off fast. Human resource development needs to be addressed at this point; aiming in developing the skills and language proficiency.
The Gateway Hotel will be constructed in an environmental friendly manner. The hospitality and the hotel industry highly depend on nature and it is our responsibility to respect as we feel it is mandatory, he said. He said The Gateway Hotel has performed extremely well during the past 25 years and is looking forward for further expansions in Sri Lanka.
The brand plays a critical role in positioning and promoting, especially when it comes to the business travellers. The Gateway Hotel brand itself has gained so much trust and accountability among the travellers. Although it is the off-season, there is an occupancy rate of around 80 percent at The Gateway Hotel. The hotel will not increase its tariff. However, with the expansions the company expects to increase the prices up to US$ 120-125.
It is important to have different market segments and different price points for these segments when benchmarking as a tourist destination.
The recent bold step taken by the Government in increasing the minimum hotel room price is well received by travellers. However, it is vital for the industry to continue the impetus,” Mohankumar said.
Related Info :
• Sri Lanka Taj Hotels Rebraded and Upgared. Taj Samudra, Taj Vivanta Bentota & The Gateway Hotel Airport Garden Seeduwa Seen a Dramatic Turn Around
• Sri Lanka Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo May Build another in the Same Premises