Tailor-Made News – August 2011

Newsletter — Jetwing eMarketing @ 11:26 am
Ayubowan, on a nice sunny August day from Jetwing, Sri Lanka! 

We hope you are enjoying the summer and the holiday most of you would have obviously had. Sri Lankan schools are also closed in the month of August, which is a welcome respite from the usual morning rush on the streets of Colombo and the suburbs.
I am delighted that I had the opportunity to visit the North and the East of my beautiful Island home since our last communication. After seeing the serene beauty and the amazing water based activities that can be done from Batticoloa and Trincomalee, I was fortunate to go to the North of the country just 2 weeks ago.
Batticoloa is a 6 and a half drive from Colombo to the North East. The roads have been developped and it was a lovely drive. Of course it was pretty long as is the case with most journeys in Sri Lanka. We stayed at a bungalow by the lagoon as there aren’t many great “tourist” accommodation yet in the area. But it was simple and clean and served our purpose very well. Over the next 2 days we treated ourselves to sumptuous meals of fresh crab, prawns and yummy mutton dishes whilst doing some serious diving. The world renowned ship wreck of the British Aircraft Carrier HMS Hermes which was sunk in 1942 during World war II and listed as one of the top 100 ship wrecks in the world was amongst them. If you are a serious diver this I am told Is a pretty mind blowing experience.

After the Batticoloa visit in May (during the Vesak holidays), we set off to Trincomalee during the Poson weekend in June. Vesak and Poson are two full moon Poya days in May and June that is celebrated by the Buddhist devotees.  As there are many pilgrims travelling to places of worship, it is customary to set up “dansals” (temporary areas that serve food and beverages free) to the passers by. We saw many of these on both our trips and I was reminded of the many journeys I did as a child where the feeling and euphoria was the same. It was another sure sign that peace and normalcy had indeed arrived in Sri Lanka. At Trincomalee we stayed at the newly refurbished Chaya Blu Hotel. It is a nice Hotel with a breathtaking pool and a great sea food restaurant that turns out a fabulous grilled lobster! Plenty of diving and snorkelling is availbale in Trincomalee too.

My visit to Jaffna was a very sobering experience.( The actual travel time is about 8 hours.) We went past Omanthai where the cleraly defined Forward Defence Line was in operation during the conflict and then on to Elephant Pass and the Wanni area before arriving in Jaffna. What the conflict has done to the people of this magnifscent area is heart breaking. In most areas time has actually stood still for the past 2-3 decades and now I saw how people were getting about trying to rebuild their lives. There may be many injustices done as in all such situations, but me, a citizen of this marvellous country saw first hand that many efforts are being made to assist the returnees in their settlement. There are beautiful houses in Jaffna which ones would have been lovely homes of happy families now dilapidated with years of neglect and firing. It breaks ones heart to see this. But, fortunately, the spirit of these industrious Northerners have not been broken. They are ready once again to embrace life, they are as warm and hospitable as they are renowned to be and the Jaffna town is a hive of activity.

All these places have some amazing unspoilt locations that can make any travellers dream vacation! We at Jetwing are excited about developping our own brand of Hotels in Trincomalee and Jaffna and will keep you updated on our plans. We are looking at making our Hotel portfolio more efficient, and as a part of that exercise have divested our holding at Jetwing Tropical Villas. It will no longer be managed by Jetwing.

August is the month for the Kandy Perehara, and as I am writing this the magnifiscent spectacle is taking place. For those who missed it this year, please do try to make it in 2011. It certainly is worth a visit.
Sincere thanks for your interest in Sri Lanka and Jetwing,

With Warm Wishes,


Shiromal Cooray
Managing Director
Jetwing Travels
Sri Lanka

The Esala Perahera is one of the most important Buddhist celebrations which takes place every year in the hill capital of Kandy. The festival brings life to the ancient kingdom with its central element being the Sacred Tooth relic of Lord Buddha’s. The relic is kept in the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa Temple) and during the months of July and August, a replica is displayed in a golden casket on the back of a richly adorned elephant. The elephant leads the evening parade around the streets and is followed by a long line of whip crackers, dancers, musicians, fire-juggling acrobats and more elephants! 

Legend has it that the Buddha’s tooth was brought to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century AD, hidden in the tresses of a princess. The ceremony has happened every year since around 300 AD. The significance of this grand event is to evoke blessings of the gods to give farmers rain to cultivate their crops.

Sri Lanka Tourism Among Finalists
Sri Lanka Tourism has been named among the finalists, who will vie for a prestigious Tourist Board of the Year award at the TTG Travel Awards 2010. The industries best will gather at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, on Thursday, September 23rd when the winners will be announced. 

The awards committee has worked tirelessly to make the TTG Travel Awards the fairest and most robust in the industry, rewarding only the most deserving of companies and registers a large number of entries; making it to the final is a reward in itself and is considered recognition of excellence. Congratulations Team Sri Lanka Tourism.  Good luck for the final round! more

Courtesy SLTPB
News from Arugum Bay
In a country where passion for sport runs high and cricket is leading; in the coastal village of Arugam Bay, youth are finding another sport equally attractive. Surfing has caught on and young persons are in the throes of giving up the only profession they have known – fishing, in favour of a career in surfing, writes Naushad Amit on speaking to people of the area. 

Since the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) meet held early this month, there is new enthusiasm in the sport and a desire to take it on seriously. more

Courtesy SLTPB
Helitours Gets Off the Ground
The commercial arm of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) , Helitours, is back at work in civilian operations, with a new outfit to smart up commercial flights from new premises with its first office in the city of Colombo. The fully commercial operation will be managed as a private company registered under the companies act but with all profits going to the government. more 

Courtesy SLTPB
Belgian Travellers’ Choice
A leading tour operator in Belgium, Jetair, is now introducing Sri Lanka, as a new winter destination, and announced the companies’ decision to operate weekly charter flights from Brussels, commencing October this year. 

At the Jetair Fly summer road show 2010, in Brussels, and attended by over 600 travel agents, Bart Brackx CEO of Jetair NV said “Despite the economic crisis the Belgian travel market is expanding and as a tribute to the Belgian traveller we are introducing the South Asian destination – Sri Lanka”. more

Courtesy SLTPB
Britain says ‘go ahead’ to travel in the North
The British High Commission in Colombo announced the UK Government’s decision, to remove the travel advisory which restricted travel to Sri Lanka’s four northern districts of Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Mannar, and Vavuniya. 

The announcement was consequent to a security assessment, led by Deputy High Commissioner Mark Gooding, who visited the Northern provinces in June, and in the wake of the USA’s decision which also lifted restrictions, and was announced in May this year.

The British Ambassador in Colombo Peter Hayes said in a statement: “This latest change means we no longer advise against travel to any part of Sri Lanka.” Ambassador Hayes encouraged, all British nationals wishing to travel to Sri Lankas, to read the full travel advice at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at. more

Courtesy SLTPB
Sorrowa Resort & Spa Habarana
Welcome to ‘Sorowwa Resort & Spa’ – built on the exact spot where Royalty of yore had their preferred pleasure garden. Welcome to an aura of complete tranquillity – a sensation possible only through a soothing combination of aqua, fauna & flora that eternally greets you. You would be amazed at the ease with which this serene nature rejuvenates your mind, body and soul. The traditions of yore, befitting then Royalty lives on, now all yours to feel. . . 

In this place of sheer tranquillity, an exalted level of personalized hospitality is all yours. From the moment you arrive to be greeted by our staff with a warm smile coming straight from their heart, you will beginto feel that you have finally arrived at that place you have always dreamed of, so, . . . abandon your self unto blissful comfort, total relaxation and peace.

Whilst on holiday with us all our customers experience and have countless service encounters and experiences that truly delight them. We at Jetwing believe each of these encounters or ‘Moments’ are on opportunity for us and our staff to truly connect with them. Let us highlight bonds and friendships we have form with our clients that will never be forgotten… 

You are welcome to log into our website, upload your images and share your experiences with us.

 

 

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