This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  Find out more here  Close
Sri Lanka boasts natural, cultural splendor
April 12 2012
By Susan Cunningham
HNN correspondent

REPORT FROM SRI LANKA—For tourism appeal, Sir Lanka boasts considerable natural and cultural assets. With 1,340 kilometers of coastline, the island country is dotted with beaches with potential for scuba diving, surfing and whale-watching. It has nine well-protected national parks and seven bird sanctuaries.

Running up from the center-south to the center of the nation is a series of pilgrimage sites for Buddhists and Hindus. The trail culminates north of the city Kandy in the “cultural triangle” containing extensive remains of the three ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa. Founded as the capital in the fourth century B.C., Anuradhapura was the capital for nearly 15 centuries. East of here was the site of most battles with the Tamils.

Yet accommodation is overwhelmingly concentrated in Colombo, the country’s largest city, and along the 125 kilometers of southwestern coastline that runs from Colombo to the old Dutch colonial outpost of Galle. In between are the beaches of Kalutara, Beruwala, Bentota, Ahungalla and Hikkaduwa. Almost 35% of the registered rooms in 2010 were along the southern coast and almost 40% were in Colombo or the surrounding area, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. It is these areas where most renovations and new hotels are planned.

To encourage renovation and refurbishment, in 2010 the government set minimum rates for the classified hotels in Colombo. A room at a 5-star hotel that in 2008 was charging between $35 and $50 per night was required to charge at least $75 in 2010. The minimum rate is now $125 gross, but rates of $200 per night are becoming common in Colombo.

Although the higher rates are only required in the capital area, many of the large hotels in resort areas have followed suit—regardless of whether the product has been renovated. Many online guest reviews, as a result, cite a disparity between star rating and quality of service and facility.

“It’s a rough period,” said HVS’s Kaushik Vardharajan. “Hotels are having a hard time, but it’s having an impact. The crappy hotels are trying to renovate to keep up. Every hotel is trying to renovate. The profile of guests is changing. It has raised the profile of Sri Lanka.”

Most of the new hotels and relaunches are in the 4- and 5-star range. Often they intend to appeal to European or Australian tourists, even though the share of these traditional source markets is shrinking. The share of visitors from Germany, Australia and France continued to be in the single digits in 2010, according to the SLTDA.

Login or enter a name   Post Your Comment  Check to follow this thread via email alerts (must be logged in)
(4000 characters max)

Comments that include links or URLs will be removed to avoid instances of spam. Also, comments that include profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, solicitations or advertising, or other similarly inappropriate or offensive comments or material will be removed from the site. You are fully responsible for the content you post. The opinions expressed in comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Please report any violations to our editorial staff

Tiered Wi-Fi emerges as new industry model
How to mitigate dependence on OTAs
Heartbleed a ‘significant’ threat to hotels
Owners talk OTAs, branding, living wage
Omni Nashville GM hits hotel jackpot
The role of today’s management company
Hunter Hotel Conference postgame wrap
Bazin outlines Accor investment strategy
Accor's Bazin talks growth
Sébastien Bazin's view from the top
Chris Nassetta talks lifestyle brand
US hotel transactions list
Hotel Equities’ Cerrone takes several paths
MGM JV has global goal for brands
Italy hotel market climbs, midscale a muddle
It’s time to fund highway improvements
Sustainability's deep roots
Contact Us
Hotel News Now
18500 Lake Rd.
Suite 310
Rocky River, Ohio 44116
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Hotel News Now, a division of STR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.   Privacy