Sri Lanka hotels see “excellent” winter season

Mar 22, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s hotels have seen a good winter season with high occupancy levels, backed by stable pricing and strong arrivals from Western Europe, Russia and China, officials said. “Occupancies have increased really,” Jayantissa Kehelpannala, head of Sri Lanka’s tourist hotels association said.

“Sometimes it is very difficult to even get a room. This season has been excellent.”

The so-called winter season starts in the last quarter of the year and extends into the first quarter of the following year.

Last November however a state order to artificially push up pricing in the Colombo city coinciding with a Commonwealth summit meeting pushed down overall arrivals to the country.

A state dictated pricing floor on 5-star graded hotels has also drawn complaints from at least one hotel and travel agents for keeping tourists away.

In 2012 occupancy dropped in large hotels tracked by the state tourism promotion agency partly due to lower domestic tourists amid a balance of payments crisis which slowed economic activities.

The tourism promotion office then suppressed monthly occupancy numbers which have not been released for more than one year now.

Sri La