High networth tourists are here to stay, with foreign guest nights up 16 percent last quarter.

High net worth tourists are here to stay, with foreign guest nights in all graded hotels up a sizeable 16.8 percent in the second quarter this year. High net worth tourists are here to stay, with foreign guest nights in all graded hotels up a sizeable 16.8 percent in the second quarter this year.

Sri Lanka has been pitching for high value tourism, with niche boutique hotels springing up and many hotels being refurbished, upgraded or expanded over the past two years.

Average room rates in most of the upgraded resorts, spas and boutique hotels are over US$ 150 a night, with foreign chains like Banyan Tree eyeing Sri Lanka to expand its chain.

Though arrival numbers fell 2.8 percent in the second quarter this year, signs are that high value up-market tourists are staying longer and spending more.

“Tourist arrivals in the second quarter were disappointing, but though arrivals contracted, foreign guest nights increased because more upmarket tourists are staying longer. Value addition in that sector is going up,” Director Statistics at the Central Bank, Dr. Anila Dias Bandaranaike said Thursday.

Local guest nights fell 13.6 percent fo