Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts (CH&R), one of the largest luxury hotel chains in Sri Lanka, is planning to expand its footprint beyond Sri Lanka and Maldives and has started evaluating options, said its chief commercial officer Christian Pertl.
“We would like to leverage the Cinnamon brand for international expansion. We have started evaluating the countries and partners that will go with our brand,” he said in an interview.
Right now, CH&R has 15 properties — eight resorts and three hotels in Sri Lanka with 2,100 keys and four resorts in Maldives with 450 keys. It is eyeing India, Middle East and Asia for expansion.
“We have a clear mandate and are looking at opportunities and no time frame has been fixed. Our strategy is to have asset light model,” he said.
He also said that they have sufficient land bank in the island country and would be looking to monetise it either for development or for setting up joint venture projects.
CH&R is planning to open its 16th property, Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort, in the island nation by the second half of CY24.
“It is going to be a game changer and place Cinnamon among the top luxury brands in Sri Lanka. It will have residential towers, mall, office towers, two hotels with 800 keys and Casino. Currently, we are looking to tie-up with best operator to run the casino,” he said.
Asserting that CY24 promises to be a good year for Sri Lankan tourism and hospitality sector post-COVID and economic crisis, he said that Maldives tourism is doing good with over 80% occupancy rate while Sri Lanka tourism is ramping up.
“We are here to tell you that Sri Lanka is safe and has enough tremendous potential for growth. Indian tourists accounts for 15% of total arrivals and their contribution to Sri Lanka is above 13%,” he said.
CH&R will be taking part in Arabian Travel Mart to be held in May 2023.