Hotels ready for winter season - Guide to CSE


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hotels ready for winter season

Industry targeting 600,000 tourists this year:

Hoteliers expect tremendous growth in tourist arrivals during this winter season. They expect high earnings for this season. Speaking to the Daily News Business Colombo City Hotelier’s Association (CCHA) Vice President Amal Goonetilleke said the tourism industry has shown a 50 percent growth and is one of the fastest growing industries in the country.
“Sri Lanka could expect that the winter season will be rewarding,” she said.
The European market is selling the winter bookings in August, but with the present trend in the bookings there will be a tremendous improvement comparatively to last year, she said. As the business is picking up hoteliers are also upgrading their products and services to compete with the other countries. The initiative taken by the Government by introducing a minimum room rate for the hoteliers impacted positively. Earlier the rates were around US$ 40 to 50 including taxes.
At present the average room rates in five star hotel is around US$ 85 and by January next year it will be increased to over US$ 100. This will provide a better chance for the hotel industry to compete with the other countries in the region. 
The tourism industry is performing extremely lucrative. The number of tourist arrivals during the first six months recorded 278,652 which is an increase of 48.4 percent compared to the same period last year, Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Director General S. Kalaiselvam told the Daily News Business.
He said during the month of June there was an increase of 47.9 percent tourist arrivals compared to 30 percent in the corresponding period last year. The increased tourist arrivals were mainly from India and the United Kingdom.
“We are targeting 600,000 visitors this year and are confident that the industry will achieve the target without difficulty.
“Already there are many inquiries for the winter season and this indicates that the tourism industry is poised for a rapid growth in the years to come,” Kalaiselvam said. The hoteliers are confident in re-investing their revenues to refurbish the hotels and upgrade them to cater to the expanded demand.
There will be no rooms added to the hotel industry during this year since planning and construction need at least one and half years.
However, there will be additional rooms by 2012. 

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