European weather spoils seasonal tourism
Many hotels across the country have been doing well during the
festive season, President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri
Lanka, Anura Lokuhetty said.
Despite quite a satisfactory hotel occupancy during the period still
many hotels were left with vacant rooms which could be attributed to the
bad weather in Europe which had a slight impact on our arrivals, he
said. Air travel in Europe came to a standstill due to the snow and
freezing weather which had compelled travellers to spend Christmas in
airports and hotels. “The tourism industry is anticipating a bright new
year as many hotels have received a large number of reservations.The
“Visit Sri Lanka, campaign will have a major impact on tourism”,
The hotel to be set up by the Shangri La Group is warmly welcomed by
the tourism industry and the entry of an international brand is bound to
have a major impact on tourism in the country, he said. “The
International chains setting up businesses will boost confidence among
travellers and encourage more hotel chains to set up operations in the
country”, Lokuhetti said.
Shangri La, the Hong Kong based hotel chain finalised the agreement
with the government on Monday to build a seven star hotel in Colombo at
a cost of around US$ 500 million. The hotel will be built on a ten-acre
land in the present Defence Ministry compound. The country needs another
15,000 rooms before 2016 to achieve the 2.5 million tourist arrivals.
Currently there are around 14,000 hotel rooms which is inadequate to
meet the demand.
Sri Lanka tourism expects around 700,000 tourists this year. Tourist
arrivals last year was around 625,000.The Committee Member, City Hotels
Association and former Vice President of the Sri Lanka Tourists Hotels
Association, Amal Goonetileke said that tourist arrivals during the
festive season had been quite satisfactory and most of the hotels had a
satisfactory occupancy rate.She said the hotel occupancy in the country
was around 75-80 percent, a marked increase compared to the previous
years, which were affected by the unsettled conditions in the country.
“The City hotels recorded an occupancy of around 70 percent during
the season which is the best time for holiday-makers”, Goonetileke
said.The tourism industry anticipated a boom during the Christmas and
New Year season but it was not all that satisfying due to the low turn
up.Many city hotels expected a 100 percent occupancy rate this
season.Goonetileke said revenue from tourism has increased due to the
high rates compared to previous years.Earning from a tourist has
increased from US$ 50 to US$ 80 per day.
“ Sri Lanka tourism is quite optimistic about the New Year which has
been declared as the ‘Visit Sri Lanka’ year which will comprise a series
of events to be held every month”, she said.The tourism industry plans
to unfold the year with 12 themes to promote the diverse products of
tourism in the country.