'Medium level price structure needed for hotel rooms in view of increasing tourists'

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

"With the increase in the number of tourists into Sri Lanka, the country has to increase the number of hotel rooms to cater to the demand. Therefore, we need to promote a medium level price structure where hotel rooms are concerned, chairman ZMAX Fairway Colombo Hotel, which is owned by Fairway Holdings, Hemaka de Alwis, told The Island Financial Review.

Fairway Hotel has 181 rooms and is located behind the Dutch Hospital. "It offers smart luxury to short stay travellers at a very affordable price, because Colombo hotel charges are quite excessive compared to other destinations, he said.

Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals grew 19.1 percent from a year earlier to 209,351 in July 2016, recovering from a slow 2.2 percent growth in June, with China, India and Western European arrivals growing, Tourism Promotion Office sources said.

June recorded 125,044 tourists arriving in the country, compared to the 113,529 who arrived in May 2015. It is said that nearly 1.8 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka last year, contributing US$ 2.98 billion to government revenue in 2015, compared to US$ 2.43 billion recorded during 2014.

Total arrivals over the past seven months were up 16.7 percent to 1,173,618. Sri Lanka is targeting 2.2 million visitors this year. In 2015 Sri Lanka welcomed 1.798 million tourists.

Tourists from China rose 21.9 percent in July to 30,631, charging ahead of India, which also grew 12.1 percent 27,665."Therefore, our hotels expect more tourists from China when the Port City starts its constructions, de Alwsi said. In the 7-months to July, arrivals from India, the top generating market grew 17.9 percent to 200,506.Chinese tourist arrivals were up 36.6 percent to 163,473.

Visitors from Britain rose 16 percent to 23,948 in July, with the total for the seven months rising to 110,649. German visitors rose 29 percent to 10,971 in July, with the total from the seven months up 15.2 percent to 75,537.Western European arrivals were up 20 percent to 77,862.

Visitor numbers from the Middle East, which plunged in June amid the fasting month of Ramadan, also recovered to grow 12.8 percent to 18,591 in July.

Arrivals from Saudi Arabia rose 6 percent to 7,514.Eastern European visitors were barely up 1.3 percent to 7,472, with Russia falling 9.7 percent to 2,269 and Ukraine falling 25.1 percent to 1,014.East Asia was up 20.6 percent to 42,890 with China dominating.

Japanese arrivals were up 29.9 percent to 3,633.South Asia was up 17.1 percent to 42,568. Maldives recovered strongly from June growing 36 percent to 8,203, Pakistan fell 5.6 percent to 3,252 but Bangladesh surged 54 percent to 2,175.

Visitors from Australia were up 38.4 percent to 7,089 and arrivals from New Zealand were also up 30 percent to 1.022.


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