Hotels

Resplendent Ceylon COO talks tourism’s future in Sri Lanka

Travel Weekly recently caught up with Maheesha Ratnayake, COO of Resplendent Ceylon to hear what he had to say about the future of tourism in Sri Lanka and to tell us a little bit about their exciting properties.

TW: Tell us about your role at Resplendent Ceylon?

I’m the chief operating officer, responsible for operating and opening a beautiful collection of Relais and Chateaux resorts.

TW: What are your key priorities for 2022 and beyond?

My key priorities will continue to be, hands-on team member engagement, continuously reimagining the way we operate and driving growth. Several sub priorities will always take root from the key ones.

TW: What is the purpose and personality of the “Resplendent Ceylon” brand and how do you, your staff and/or your guests live and breathe these values?

We aren’t too fond of the word “brand” that said we appreciate that our collection must be defined in that manner!

Our purpose is to sustainably operate properties with a sense of place that enriches and nurture the lives of our team and the communities we operate in.

To put it simply, our personality can be defined as friendly. Describing our character however is easier, we are passionate, curious, driven and ambitious.

We live these values by being humble. When you leave ego out of any equation, everyone wins. The company, employees, guests and other stakeholders are a part of a balanced ecosystem rich in love and enthusiasm.

TW: What are the biggest trends and opportunities in the industry at present?

The biggest trend in the industry is something we will not follow. Taking the person out of hospitality. In our operating model, there is no substitute for “unscripted moments of human truth”

TW: What do you see as the biggest threat to the global travel industry right now?

Costs and workforce retention. Costs are self-explanatory. The travel trade is bleeding people after covid, loyalty and passion for the industry is dying slowly as the impact on people’s livelihoods put them off from pursuing their careers further. We need to overcome this by re-defining terms of our engagement with the workforce.

Hospitality is known for glamorous front ends, long hours, stress and very little else. We need to bring balance, we can then overcome.

TW: How do you think Resplendent Ceylon differentiates itself from other resorts in the market here in Sri Lanka?

The most important differentiator is our people. I am incredibly blessed to work alongside such genuine and passionate individuals. It’s impossible to not feel it.

TW: What is the one thing you’d like Australian travel agents to know about Resplendent Ceylon hotels?

You won’t have clients with buyer’s remorse.

TW: What keeps you up at night?

Netflix.

TW: How do you relax?

Boating, being on the water is bliss. Time with loved ones is precious and I take that time very seriously.

TW: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about yourself or about Resplendent Ceylon?

Forget about what you know about hotel experiences. We have taken the hotel out of the hotel. Come home to Resplendent Ceylon.



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