The group’s hotel unit has a tie up with Thailand’s Minor group.
Hemas was scouting for property to expand its Avani-brand hotel chain to new parts of the island, said Abbas Esufally, a director of the group.
The group’s leisure arm manages the four hotel properties of Avani Bentota Resort and Spa (formerly Hotel Serendib), Hotel Sigiriya, Club Hotel Dolphin and Avani Kalutara Resort and Spa.
“We are aggressively looking at opportunities to acquire or buy land for property development. Our target is to expand our Avani portfolio to five properties, very soon,” Esufally said.
Sri Lanka is seeing an upsurge in the number of foreign visitors, three-years after the military ended a decades long ethnic conflict. Tourists’ arrivals hit a record 850,000 last year and the state has set its sights on attracting 2.5 million visitors by 2016.
Esufally said his group remained optimistic on the leisure industry, as the demand for the Sri Lankan tourism product continues to grow.
The leisure sector’s inbound operator Diethelm Travels, opened an office in Maldives recently, to overseas the business of visiting German tourists.
Esufally said 70 percent of German holidaymakers into the Maldives were handled by Diethelm’s Maldivian operation.
The transport sector, which includes aviation and shipping, is gearing up to expand into the maritime services.
The logistics unit, which includes a joint venture with Hellman Worldwide Logistics, is bullish on expanding its market share, taking advantage of the government’s directive to shift passenger vehicle carrier vessels to the southern port of Hambantota.
“We have already completed delivering our first consignment of vehicles last week,” said Kasthuri Wilson, Managing Director Hemas transport unit.
The consignment, for Uni Walkers Automobiles Limited (a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings PLC), had earlier come on board the vessel from Kobe, Japan.