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Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts’ $1.3 Billion Investment to Transform Sri Lanka’s Tourism Industry

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts CEO Mikael Svensson discusses the $1.3 billion Cinnamon Life project in Sri Lanka, aiming to create a major entertainment and MICE hub in South Asia.

During the Arabian Travel Market 2024 in Dubai, Mikael Svensson, CEO of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, shared insights about their significant $1.3 billion investment in Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Life project. This ambitious venture aims to position Colombo as a premier entertainment and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) hub in South Asia.

Strategic Vision Behind Cinnamon Life

Svensson emphasized that this investment, planned over a decade, aims to revolutionize not only Colombo but also the entire South Asian region. “We wanted to create something that would transform the destination of Colombo and Sri Lanka, making it the entertainment hub of the region,” he stated. The project includes two hotels, extensive gaming facilities, numerous restaurants and bars, large banquet spaces, and a state-of-the-art exhibition center.

Boosting Colombo as a Gateway City

Highlighting Sri Lanka‘s untapped potential, Svensson pointed out the strategic location and natural beauty of the country. The investment aims to attract both regional and international guests, with a focus on markets such as India, the UK, Germany, and Russia. The proximity to gaming destinations like India and Singapore is expected to draw new visitors.

Enhancing MICE Capabilities

Svensson detailed the extensive MICE facilities within Cinnamon Life, which can accommodate over 5,000 guests. The project complements the existing portfolio of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, which includes 18 hotels with significant banquet spaces, enhancing Colombo’s capability to host large-scale conferences and exhibitions.

Sustainability Initiatives

A strong emphasis on sustainability is integral to the Cinnamon Life project. Svensson highlighted initiatives such as the elimination of single-use plastics, the creation of water bottling plants within the resort, and the support of wildlife conservation and reforestation projects. “Sustainability and ecotourism are embedded in Sri Lanka’s ethos, and our developments are designed to respect and enhance the natural environment,” he said.

Future Prospects

Looking ahead, Svensson expressed confidence in Sri Lanka’s tourism growth, projecting a doubling of tourist arrivals within the next three to four years. Cinnamon Life is poised to play a crucial role in this expansion, establishing Colombo as a gateway city for the region.

Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts’ investment in Cinnamon Life is set to redefine Sri Lanka’s tourism landscape, blending luxury, sustainability, and strategic positioning to create a world-class destination.

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