The retro-chic Chaaya Blu Trincomalee belonging to the Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts chain, celebrated 5 eventful years on 10th May. Over the past 5 years, the hotel has evolved into the prime leisure destination on the east coast, not only for its uber stylish offering, but also due to its status as the best whale watching hub in the country.
Built around the theme of sun, sand and water-based fun activities, Chaaya Blu Trincomalee offers an exciting whale watching experience for guests that is built on sustainable and responsible tourism practices. Significantly, the hotel has earned its reputation by demonstrating a robust sustainability framework that ensures that all its stakeholders are part of the hotel’s success story.
While whale watching offers a novel experience for guests, it is a vital lifeline for the local community. The hotel has employed local fishermen (who ply their boats for whale watching) and fitted their boats with non-polluting, silent engines so as not to disturb the marine life. The hotel has invested heavily in acquiring such equipment and infrastructure to develop a professionally-managed whale watching operation for its guests. Commencing with 2 boat operators, the hotel has built up a pool of 8 fishermen, who regularly operate the whale watching expeditions under the supervision of Chaaya Blu Trincomalee.
The hotel has empowered these boat operators with knowledge about the dos and don’ts to preserve marine life and ensure safety of guests. Every whale watching trip is accompanied by a naturalist who shares his knowledge with the guests.
Since the hotel commenced operations 5 years ago, it has increased the percentage of local residents in its employment, providing a secure and stable livelihood source for people from surrounding communities. These employees are further supported by free English speaking and soft skills necessary for future success in their careers.
Another far-reaching sustainability initiative undertaken by Chaaya Blu Trincomalee is the preservation and clean up of Pigeon Island, famed for its live corals and rich marine life. Over-visitation and weak environmental regulations is putting the corals and marine life on the island at risk, thereby threatening their existence.
Chaaya Blu Trincomalee has taken on the challenge of educating their guests who visit Pigeon Island about the ecological impact of coral reefs and the importance of not walking on or breaking off corals as souvenirs. The hotel’s efforts at nurturing the natural wonders of Pigeon Island have been commended by the Sri Lanka Navy.