The Government has decided to build a luxury hotel near the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The frontrunner identified to undertake the construction project on a build-operate-and transfer basis is the China Harbour Corporation.
The second is Quant International Ltd., a British firm and Finco (Pvt.) Ltd., a Sri Lankan company. They have been listed in that order by the Airport and Aviation Services Limited (AASL).
In January this year, the Cabinet directed that the project be
undertaken through the funds of the AASL. However, the company which administers and controls the country’s only international airport replied that it was unable to fund any project due to lack of funds. The Treasury has also said it will not be in a position to fund the project.
On Friday, the Cabinet approved a proposal that the project where the AASL would charge a concession fee on gross sales turnover of the hotel and a land rental on the valuation of the land allocated to the project.
Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne has said the AASL will now call for “Request for Proposals” from international and local investors. Ministerial sources confirmed yesterday that China Harbour Corporation had shown keen interest in making a strong bid. “We will consider all bids before a final decision,” a source said.
The construction of a new luxury hotel near the BIA will be in addition to three-star hotels operated by at least two different private concerns. Hotel industry sources said yesterday that instead of a luxury hotel near the airport, what was required was a better transportation system since the city had a number of resort hotels. They also pointed out that such luxury hotels were also located along the Negombo coast.