Sri Lanka's blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence will invest 100 million U.S. dollars in a five star hotel that will be managed by Spanish hotel chain RIU Hotels in its first Asia Pacific venture, the company said in a statement on Friday.
This will be RIU's first venture in the Asia Pacific and follows on large scale investment projects by Shangri-la, Sheraton and Hyatt.
The project will also be unique in its concept, since it will introduce charter flights to Sri Lanka.
The hotel, which would cater to high end customers looking for long stay vacations, will arrive on Boeing 787 Dreamliner charters which can carry up to 200 to 300 passengers at a time.
RIU Hotels is an all-inclusive model which manages 107 properties in 16 countries.
This business model spearheaded by the group would also have a snowball effect in developing the tourism industry, particularly in the south of the country.
New highways and the 210 million U.S. dollar Chinese-built international airport in the south is providing new infrastructures for tourists.
"This would be a huge boost to the tourism sector as 700 to 800 guests coming into the country in one go would help in creating international awareness of Sri Lanka as an emerging holiday destination in Asia," said the Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman Rajan Brito.
Since the end of a three-decade war in 2009, Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals have boomed, reaching over 1.2 million last year and attracting earnings of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Central Bank.
The tropical island is aiming to attract 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, buoyed by fast increasing numbers from China.