The only travel company in Sri Lanka to enter the Hall of Fame, Aitken Spence Travels won the awards for ‘Best Tour Operator Emerging Market’ and ‘Best Conference Organiser’ at the fifth Sri Lanka Tourism Awards.
The company’s first employee and also a past Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC, Prema Cooray was recognised with a ‘Legend’ award.
Having won the award for the ‘Best Tour Operator’ in Sri Lanka in the first three years, Aitken Spence is the only travel company so far to enter the Awards’ Hall of Fame. The company, which celebrated its 35 years of existence two months back, has made major investments this year in IT to introduce state-of-the-art software covering all aspects of operations and has upgraded its fleet of vehicles consisting of coaches, cars and micro buses to brand new vehicles to serve clients better.
Being a futuristic company, it has already thought of the future and has aligned with its joint venture partner TUI Travel PLC to cater to all important segments of the market.
TUI Travel PLC is the largest integrated leisure company in the world. It owns over 150 aircrafts, 3,500 retail shops in Europe, market leading tour operators in main tourist generating countries and is the leader in online services in tourism. It is also the leader in cruise handling and operates its own cruise line, Hapag Lloyd. TUI is the No. 1 leisure hotelier in Europe with nine brands.
In order to consolidate its market leadership position Aitken Spence Travels is now a part of the umbrella brand Worldcome, which will further enhance its marketing capability worldwide.
With regards to the important and fast growing online segment Aitken Spence Travels has teamed up with Hotelbeds to procure services in Sri Lanka. Aitken Spence Travels is already a member of Intercruises, the world’s largest network providing shore excursions to cruise operators.
It is currently in negotiations with the leading international brand Pacificworld serving the MICE segment to increase its foothold in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions segment. In adventure travel, it is in discussions with Purequest brand developed within the TUI group to cater to adventure travel.
Commenting on the accolades received, Gehan M. Perera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels and Director of Aitken Spence PLC, attributed the remarkable achievements to the exceptional team at Aitken Spence, who continue to rise above themselves and outperform the market consistently.
“Such achievements and to retain market leadership position for such long period is only possible if we continue to work as a well-knit team, to offer outstanding value and service to our customers and principals. We will continue to be customer obsessed in all our endeavours.”
“We are indeed grateful to all our hotel partners and suppliers in Sri Lanka as well as all our overseas tour operators who have supported us throughout our long journey. Whilst acknowledging this honour with humility, we will re-dedicate ourselves to support our partners even more and exceed our customers’ expectations, whilst expanding our operations with the new initiatives taken by the company to operate on an international platform.”
He considers it a privilege to lead an innovative and dynamic team that defies logic and is committed to excellence.