Business

Japanese company to build $ 8.4 m boutique hotel in Ahungalla

Wakana JPN (Pvt.) Ltd., which presently owns two hotels in Sri Lanka, will construct and operate a 21-room new boutique hotel in Ahungalla with an investment of $ 8.4 million, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) announced.

The investment agreement was signed recently between the BOI and the Japanese company, with BOI Chairman Mangala Yapa and Wakana JPN Directors Hiroyuki Ota and T.G. Sunil Wickrama signing on behalf of the two parties.

The new hotel to be constructed is to serve the Sri Lankan hospitality industry, but will incorporate a Japanese style designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma. Every aspect of the new boutique hotel, from the design of the building to the furniture, internal decor, cuisine, etc., are to be optimised according to the traditions of both Sri Lanka and Japan.

The group presently owns and operates two more hotels: Coral Rock by Bansei (Bansei Royal Resorts Hikkaduwa PLC) and Club Villa Bentota (Bentota Club Villa [Pvt.] Ltd.) In addition to these investments, the group has a long history of having invested in Sri Lankan government financial securities and instruments.

“This agreement underscores the message that Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is well set to recover and flourish, as the country was recently awarded the title of the ‘Best Place to Travel’ twice by the leading tourism industry publication Lonely Planet. This recognition was earned in spite of the Easter Sunday attacks. Tourism is the third-largest foreign exchange earner in the country. It is a noteworthy milestone that the Japanese investor expanded his operations in the country,” the BOI press release stated.

It added that this will serve as a bridge between the two cultures. Japanese foreign direct investment will help attract a more diversified international clientele, while creating and providing employment for the local population. This will foster both the development of physical and human capital, enhancing the value of the Sri Lankan hospitality industry and the economy in general.