Sri Lanka hotel room rates to be upped 20-pct in winter: official

July 19, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s leisure operators will push up room rates by about 20 percent in the coming winter season, amid a post-war tourism boom that has seen a near 50 percent jump in arrivals, officials said. John Keells Holdings said it had seen an immediate increase in its coastal resorts and in the central hills where it has 760 rooms. Occupancy and rates at its two 5-star rated hotels with 840 rooms had almost doubled.

At Cinnamon Lakeside in Colombo occupancy had jumped from 40 percent before the war ended to over 80 percent now, Krishan Balendra, the group’s head of corporate finance and strategy told a forum organized by Acuity, an investment bank earlier this month.

Average room rates which were hovering around 40 to 50 dollars average,are now over 70 dollars at Cinnamon Lakeside, he said.

“At Cinnamon Grand, a similar picture; occupancies of over 80 percent in recent months from around 40 percent before the war ended. And room rates of over 90 dollars from around 50 dollars before the war ended.”

“In the coming winter most of the hotels have increased rates in hard currency by over 20 percent,” Jetwing chief Hiran Cooray told a forum in Colombo.

“Some of the improved and re