Adaaran resorts chief eyes significant expansion within Maldives

Aitken Spence Hotels has announced plans to expand its operations within the Maldives through its Adaaran resort brand in anticipation of increased tourist interest in the country, according to Sri Lankan media.

Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Adaaran Resorts, Upul Pieris, told the Sri Lanka-based Daily News publication that the hospitality company was considering creating an additional 400 rooms in the Maldives – either by developing new properties on uninhabited islands or through taking over an existing resort.  Negotiations on the proposed expansion were already said to be under-way in the Maldives.

As well as the potential for developing new resort properties, Pieris said that the company was also looking to expand the amount of high-end accommodation types like water bungalows that it presently offered in the Maldives at properties like its Adaaran ‘Prestige’ Vadoo resort.

The resort, which is the company’s latest property to be opened in the Maldives, consists solely of 50 water villa properties that are all based over the waters surrounding the island.

Having been operating in the Maldives since 1993, Pieris claimed that a decision to re-brand Adaaran’s operations in 2005 towards trying to provide a more high-end travel experience had “exceeded” the company’s expectations in terms of revenue.

Tourist demand

Despite growth in arrival numbers to the Maldives over the first eight months of 2012, the total occupancy rate for resorts, hotels, guest houses and safari boats was down 1.2 percentage points in total to 70.8 percent over the same period.

On a year-on-year basis, total average occupancy for August 2012 fell one percentage point to 68 percent.

Addressing this decline, Pieris said that higher occupancy rates were expected in the Maldives over the next quarter in line with plans to attract one million visitors to the country during 2012.