Echelon Studio

Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort's Unique Positioning in the Tourism Resurgence

Highly personalized guest experiences and best-in-class operations drive success in a challenging market

Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort's Unique Positioning in the Tourism Resurgence

Mano Gunasekera - General Manager of Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort

Mano Gunasekera, General Manager of Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort shares insights into positioning the property for a resurgence in tourism.

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is witnessing a remarkable revival compared to previous years. 2023 saw a slow start with a total number of 210,000 arrivals in the first two months. Fast forward to January and February 2024, the year-to-date figure as of mid-February exceeds 320,000 arrivals. This growth trend indicates that 2024 is well on track to achieve the target of 2.3 to 2.5 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year, Gunasekera points out.

In terms of revenue, the sector generated about $2.1 billion in 2023, and the industry is aiming for a more ambitious target of $4.5 billion in 2024, according to official data. Sri Lanka’s top tourist source markets remain largely unchanged from 2023, and India continues to command the leading position, followed by Russia, the UK, and Germany. Highlighting these trends,  Gunasekera explains how Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort is uniquely placed for a resurgence in the tourism sector.

How is Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort positioned to thrive in this challenging market?

The Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort, managed by Marriott International and owned by the LOLC Group, opened its doors in 2020, boasting 172 rooms in the prime location of Kosgoda, positioned along the Southern coastal belt just passing Bentota. The resort embodies Marriott International’s confidence in Sri Lanka’s tourism potential. The architecture of the property with open spaces, multiple restaurants and lounges complimented by expansive gardens bordering the beach has set the resort as an ideal location for the leisure traveller, MICE events, and weddings.

As we celebrate our fourth anniversary, the focus on long-term sustainability and curating unique experiences for our guests continue to remain a key priority. Our resort serves as a hub for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty members exploring Sri Lanka, facilitating seamless global travel options, and showcasing our brand’s recognition of their loyal patronage. The Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty programme with over 180 million members worldwide, provides exposure and accessibility to our resort and has positioned us well globally. Marriott International’s strong presence with the Sheraton Brand falling into its premium tier, appeals to travellers with the brand’s consistent service standards worldwide. With a sophisticated global sales, distribution, and marketing network, and best-in-class hotel operational practices, Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort is positioned as a market leader.

What sets the property and its value offering as a unique proposition to the discerning traveller?

As the world’s gathering place, we provide spaces and opportunities for families and individuals to come together, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Our team is committed to delivering personalized experiences for each guest, starting from the moment they initiate contact with us, the arrival, in-stay, and post-stay experience. We take the time to understand their preferences, ensuring that the stay is memorable.

Supported by Marriott International’s robust learning and development culture, the team is equipped to create seamless guest experiences and enhance local engagement. Additionally, we actively promote nearby attractions and support community projects, fostering connections between guests and the local community.

We are also focused and actively engaged in sustainable operations with Marriott International’s guidelines. These efforts concentrate on key areas of energy, responsible sourcing, waste reduction, and water action planning to name a few.

How do you create memorable experiences for guests?

As industry standards and practices continue to evolve, we always seek new opportunities to incorporate experiences and methodologies that will define a new era of modern travel.

Our team is well-versed in developing moments of authenticity to meet these shifting traveller requirements. A well-trained and passionate team, supported by advanced systems to capture guest feedback, helps us curate memorable stays. Resort activation is an integral part of the operation, combining best practices across the Sheraton brand. To ensure guest satisfaction, we employ a sophisticated feedback system that evaluates various aspects of their experience, including food quality, service, cleanliness, ambience, and facility satisfaction.

Our resort offers a plethora of in-house experiences ranging from Sri Lankan cooking classes for the family, Yoga sessions for the mindful traveller, a kid’s club, a well-equipped gym, a spa, and so much more. Some of the local highlights include the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Projects, a boat ride along the Madu River, a crafting experience at the local artistry store, a day spent at the Galle Fort and water sports at a nearby facility.