COLOMBO, June 2 (Xinhua) -- China's Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has opened its first hotel in Sri Lanka in the southern town of Hambantota.
Sri Lankas President Maithripala Sirisena and several ministers in the government attended the opening ceremony Wednesday together with high-profile local and foreign guests.
Tourism Minister John Amaratunga, speaking at the opening ceremony, said that the hotel will help boost tourism in Hambantota and in Sri Lanka.
This is a milestone for Sri Lankan tourism, the minister said, adding that he expects the hotel to have 100 percent occupancy every year.
Chief Operating Officer of the hotel Greg Dogan said he hopes the hotel will contribute to Sri Lanka tourism and he awaits the opening of the second Shangri-La hotel in Colombo next year.
The 145-acre Shangri-La Hambantota Resort and Spa beachfront location provides front-row seats to views of the sparkling Indian Ocean.
As the first upscale resort on the south west coast of the island, Shangri-Las Hambantota Resort and Spa is set in naturally lush surroundings. Its dynamic range of offerings including golf, water sports, spa and kids club will leave guests relaxed, re-energised and inspired.
The hotel project was launched by the former Sri Lankan government led by then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The Chinese tourist market is the biggest in Sri Lanka with direct flights operating between major Chinese cities and Colombo.