In an exclusive interview with Today’s Traveller, Kamal Munasinghe, Area Vice President – Colombo Hotels and General Manager – Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts shares his thoughts on further developing India, as a key strategic source market
TT Bureau: What strategies are being adopted to promote Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts in the medium and long term?
Kamal Munasinghe: There are many initiatives which are being looked into by us from a medium to long-term period and a great deal of these are based on travel trade partnerships, key customer engagements, interactive meetings, and facilitating FAMs for trade partners. With our commitment to being strong in India,
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts has established its Global Sales Organization in India, covering Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai. This also emphasizes our commitment and focus on India, as a key strategic source market.
Additionally, our active representation at SATTE, OTM, and other related industry events will continue to sustain our brand presence.
TT Bureau: What are special MICE offerings that you have to offer for Indian Corporate Companies?
Kamal Munasinghe: MICE movements from India are now gaining traction and we are quite hopeful of reaching pre-pandemic levels soon. To amplify our outreach for MICE, several MICE agent familiarization trips have already been conducted by Sri Lanka as a destination and Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts collaborating as a hospitality partner.
We will also look at extending this to the corporate MICE segment in the next few months. The demand has been encouraging. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is geared in both Colombo and Resorts with venues that can accommodate up to 600 guests, with experiential indoor and outdoor options and state-of-the-art AV facilities. These are complemented by thematic Indian food, entertainment options, and the customary Cinnamon service.
TT Bureau: Tell us about the new hotel openings in 2023-24.
Kamal Munasinghe: Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts will open its doors second half of 2024 Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort.
The introduction of Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort will redefine Colombo and will be a city icon and an integrated lifestyle complex. Cinnamon Life Integrated Resort will include two residential towers, a mall, an office tower, a hotel with 800 guestrooms and suites, fifteen restaurants and bars with live entertainment in the evenings, two wellness centers, a kids’ club, four swimming pools (including one private spa pool) and 80,000 sq ft of events and meetings space.
TT Bureau: Which cities in India are you looking to tap as target markets for your hotels?
Kamal Munasinghe: Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is concentrating on Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, including the market leaders such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Kolkata.
The targeted market segments are Leisure and MICE movements, with destination weddings being a focused segment as well.
TT Bureau: Besides India which other nations in Asia contribute to tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka?
Kamal Munasinghe: Apart from India, other Asian destinations include China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan which are key contributing Asian nations in terms of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka.
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