Hon. John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Minister of Lands

Chinese check-in to AHTIC to check-out tourism opportunities in Sri Lanka

Delegation will meet the President, Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Development at Asia Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC )

Sri Lanka has announced that it will be welcoming a VIP delegation from China, to the inaugural Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC) in Colombo in November, organised by Bench Events and Sri Lanka Tourism Club. The delegation, comprising leading investors and hoteliers, has been facilitated by the Centre of Asia Hotel Forum.

Among the influential executives who will meet the Sri Lankan president and prime minister, will be  Mr. Haibo Bai,  Chairman and President of HNA Hotel Groups, part  of HNA Group, the Chinese aviation and shipping giant which recently acquired 25% of Hilton for $6.5bn.

The delegation’s attendance is a coup for the conference and for Sri Lanka, which has plans in place to develop its tourism sector rapidly. During their seven-day stay the Chinese executives will explore investment opportunities, as guests of the government.

Among the other Chinese VIPs will be:

  • Ms. Yun Cai, Secretary-general of China Real Estate Association Commercial & Tourism Estate Committee
  • Mr. Henry Chen, Founder & President of Asia Hotel Forum/Phoenix Global Investment www.phoenixinvest.ca/
  • Mr. David Cho, Director of INSIGHT asset management and investment group Ltd www.insightinvestment.com/
  • Ms. Milin Kritsutthikun, Director of Business Development, Forise Land Real Estate www.foriseland.com
  • Mr. Shudong Li, General Manager – Development of Join. In Hospitality Management Co. Ltd. www.tlhotelsgroup.com/location-en.html
  • Mr. Qifeng Ning, Senior Vice President of Wanda Commercial Properties (Group) www.wandaplazas.com/en
  • Mr. Zhenyu Shen, GM of COFCO Investment Department (owner of  www.cofco.com/en/index.html)
  • Mr. Adam Xia, Business Development Center GM of Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Limited www.powerlong.com/view/index.action
  • Mr. Xiaojian Xiao, Secretary-general of China Real Estate Association Financing Committee
  • Mr. Dongjian Xu, Founder & President of Hanvon Technology www.hanvon.com
  • Mr. Hansen Zhao, President of Dossen International, Dossen Hotel Group www.dossen.com

High on their itinerary as they tour the island will be plans to attract tourists back to the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ with the launch of themed tourism development zones. The public-private sector initiative is backed by the Ministry of Lands, the Ministry of Tourism and the Sri Lanka Tourism Club, a government-recognised group of industry leaders responsible for arranging the Chinese investor visit.

At least five and up to eight “Themed International Tourism and Family Entertainment Zones” are being designated in state-owned land, selected for their outstanding natural beauty. They include beaches, mountain and forest regions, extending over more than 4,000 acres. The Chinese business leaders will hear the full plans unveiled at AHTIC.


Dr Prabath C. Ukwatte Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Club

Sri Lanka Tourism Club Chairman, Dr Prabath C. Ukwatte, a founding sponsor and co-organiser of AHTIC, said: “We will be working with government ministries to deliver themed international tourism and family entertainment zones, and to open them up for foreign investment. The conference will be an ideal opportunity to explain what we will be doing and to attract international finance. The new relationship with Chinese investors and Henry Chen, the Founder of Asia Hotel Forum and pioneer Chinese investment introducer, is historical and it establishes AHTIC as an economic bridge between China and Sri Lanka”.

Henry Chen replied: “Agreed!  I’m delighted to be bringing this delegation. The opportunity is so self-evident, I can’t imagine any serious Chinese hospitality investor not wanting to take a good look at Sri Lanka.”

Tourism minister, Mr John Amaratunga, added:  “We are giving the Tourism Club’s plans our full backing. More zones for development will be announced in the future. We are accelerating and widening the scope for investors by actively making reforms to reduce bureaucracy. We want to speed up decision-making.” He said there would be new concessions and investment opportunities announced at AHTIC.

Mr Amaratunga says Sri Lanka wants to generate up to five million tourists by 2020 and increase tourism revenue to 10 billion dollars. That includes doubling the current number of rooms available and creating direct employment for 300,000.

As well as the Chinese delegation, AHTIC will bring international leaders of the hospitality industry to Sri Lanka. It will be a forum for three days of high-level discussion from across the region – speeches by prominent insiders, a unique chance to hear political leaders’ views first-hand, and opportunities to network with entrepreneurs and other successful individuals.

A demonstration of the growing co-operation between the public and private sectors is the opening AHTIC networking reception in Colombohosted by the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, the conference patron. His Prime Minister, as well as the Tourism Minister, will give the opening speeches as the conference gets under way the following day.

AHTIC will take place, November 27 – 29, 2016, at the Hilton Colombo, Sri Lanka.

For the full programme visit: www.asia-conference.com/programme




Organiser: Bench Events, Co-organiser and Founder Sponsor: Sri Lanka Tourism Club, Host Partners: Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs of Sri Lanka; Presidential Secretariat Sri Lanka; BOI Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Urban Development Authority Sri Lanka, Strategic Partner: JLL, Platinum Sponsor: JA Resorts & Hotels, Gold Sponsor: C G Hotels & Resorts and Dusit International, Official Airline Partner: SriLankan Airlines, Supporters: The Centre of Asia Hotel Forum and Pacific Asia Travel Association, Programme endorsed by: The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka.


About Bench Events

Global event-organiser, Bench Events has a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America. Market leading annual conferences include the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, now in its 13th year, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) the new Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), The Summit and the Latin American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conferences (SAHIC). Bench Events’ extensive portfolio also includes the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) in Dubai and AviaDev, designed to promote the future air connectivity in Africa. Bench Events’ mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking, and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide. www.benchevents.com.

About Sri Lanka Tourism Club

Sri Lanka Tourism Club’s (SLTC) objective is to brand Sri Lanka as an outstanding tourist destination and aim to promote its unique life style, nature, wonders, attractions, heritage and cultures to develop both domestic and international tourism and enhance Sri Lanka’s share of the market for international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. Its ultimate objective is to increase the number of foreign tourists to Sri Lanka, extend the average length of their stay and finally to increase the national tourism revenue.

 Asia Hotel Forum

AHF® is a top integrated hotel service provider in China. The Centre of AHF® holds the International Hotel Investment Summit annually in Beijing or Shanghai alternatively. As the sub-forum of AHF®, the International Hotel Investment Summit aims at building valuable communication platform via releasing professional data and discussing latest topics.

AHF® focuses on contributing the best platform for hotels which invites hotel investors, design institutes, suppliers, and professors to analyses typical cases, communicate fresh information, discuss investment opportunities, and display panoramic industrial value. AHF® has attracted more than 10,000 elites since it was founded.

For further information and high resolution images, please contact:

–       David Tarsh, Tarsh Consulting, Email: David@Tarsh.com, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7602 5262, Cell: +44 (0) 7770 816 070.


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