Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Group’s deluxe hotels, has employed scores of people and sources supplies from the neighbouring villages as part of the ongoing investment drive to embrace sustainability.
More than 65 percent of the hotel’s staff of 400 have been recruited from the local villages, many of them have not had previous hotel experience.
Those from the local community, have risen up the ranks quickly, to enable Heritance Ahungalla to secure multiple awards for cuisine, service and environment practice.
“We are proud of our growing team of young men and women from the surrounding communities, who have quickly adapted to high-levels of hotel management and also readily contribute to expanding our sustainability initiatives,” said Refhan Razeen, General Manager of Heritance Ahungalla.
The Heritance Ahungalla family also includes children of retired staff members, differently-abled persons and more than 35 youths from the north and east who secured employment after one-year’s training at the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality.
Razeen said a differently abled person, employed as a trainee pastry cook, went onto win two golds and a silver medal at the Culinary Art competition in Sri Lanka. He later secured employment overseas and has since won gold medals in similar competitions in Dubai.
Heritance Ahungalle’s roll of honour also includes efforts to conserve energy and preserve the ecological balance around its stunning property. In 2011, the hotel won a Bronze Flame award at the 2011 Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards.
Malin Hapugoda, the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels said the group is acutely aware of the role tourism plays to aggravate global warming and environmental degradation.
“Heritance Ahungalla’s energy management system, focuses on effectively managing energy consumption without compromising the guest comfort. It also helps the hotel to meet the current and future mandatory energy efficiency targets and requirements of greenhouse gas emission reduction legislations,” Hapugoda said.