New luxury properties help increase average hotel room rates | Sunday Observer

New luxury properties help increase average hotel room rates

The opening of more luxury properties helped Sri Lanka’s hotel sector achieve higher daily room rates over the past year, despite stagnant occupancy levels as room inventory rose, research by hotel industry consultancy STR shows.

“Sri Lanka’s hotel market recorded strong overall performance growth through September 2016, driven by a sharp increase in average daily rate (ADR),” the study by STR, based in Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States, said.

In year-over-year comparisons with the first nine months of 2015, Sri Lanka hotels reported a 15.0% increase in ADR to Rs. 15,806.02, according to STR, global provider of benchmarking, information services and research to the hotel industry.

“Meanwhile, occupancy was relatively flat at 66.4%. As a result, revenue per available room (RevPAR) jumped 14.9% to Rs. 10,495.60,” it said.

“The market for hotel accommodation in Sri Lanka is decidedly healthy, with double-digit growth in occupancy for the past three years and this year, we have seen an uplift in average daily rates too,” Jesper Palmqvist, STR’s Area Director Asia Pacific, said.

The study, released ahead of the inaugural Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), taking place in Colombo at the end of this month, said demand for hotel rooms was evenly matched by supply.

“Boosted by the government’s efforts to increase international arrivals, Sri Lanka’s hotel demand (rooms sold) increased 4.0% as of September,” it said. “Supply, however, also increased at a rate of 4.0%, and STR expects that supply will continue rising over the next two years with more than 4,300 rooms currently in Sri Lanka’s pipeline.”

STR analysts attribute Sri Lanka’s recent boost in ADR to a changing hotel landscape in the market driven by recent openings of new luxury properties.

More than 3,600 of the 4,300 rooms in Sri Lanka’s pipeline fall in the luxury and upscale categories, which should further lift the country’s ADR as more of the hotel rooms available will be sold at higher prices, STR said.

Palmqvist will give a detailed presentation on the demand for hotel accommodation across the region at the AHTIC, which will be held from November 27–29, at the Hilton Hotel Colombo.

According to Sri Lanka Tourism’s 2016 Strategic Marketing Plan, the country has a target of 2.2 million visitors for the year, which would be a 26% increase compared with 2015. 

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