Politics should be detached from tourism sector decision-making process

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

Politics should be divorced from the decision-making process in the tourism sector, which they could act as a catalyst and play a huge supportive role for Sri Lanka’s economy, an  industry specialist said.

The authorities have decided to increase the minimum hotel room rate above US $ 200 per day, which is far too much compared with other hotels in the region, Sri Lankan Country Manager, JVD SA France/JVD Asia, Asoka Fonseka said.

JVD is the first French manufacturer of hotel accessories and hotel equipment operating in more than 80 countries.

"Our high room rates/charges impede the development of the sector, which is a bottleneck to take the sector to the next level.  The pricing should be adjusted in comparison with regional rates because countries such as the Maldives, Indonesia and others in the region offer very competitive room rates", Fonseka said.      

 "I have been involved in the local hotel sector for some time and found the expected growth momentum that existed before was now no more due to undue political interference and other issues like currency fluctuations and high bank interest rates", he complained.

 "As exorbitant room rates and other issues have dropped the growth momentum, the duty politicians is to involve in tourism-related infrastructure development activities than in decision making", he said.   

 He said that certain proposed hotel projects have been shelved by some investors due to the escalation of interest rates and lack of infrastructure facilities especially in the Kalpitiya tourism zone affecting the number of hotel rooms to be built within the targeted period.

 "We provide equipment/solutions including,   electronic door locks, mini bars, cosmetic and magnifying mirrors was room hygienic accessories and a whole range of portfolio of products to the hotel sector", he said.

  The world’s first commercially viable biometric safe, designed and constructed to meet the high expectations of the hotel industry is to be introduced to Sri Lanka at the Hotel Shown which opens onJuly 13.

 The company enjoys more than 50 percent market share in Sri Lanka and work with all main chain Hotels/Resorts and  and Luxury Hotel Groups including Keells, Aitken Spence, Jetwing and Confifi.

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