Sri Lanka leisure industry in boom but profits still elusive

July 20, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s hoteliers say 10 billion US dollars have to be invested to more than double the country’s hotels rooms to 35,000 by 2016 to cater to an expected 2.5 million tourists, but the journey is not a cake walk. Investment Plans

Sri Lanka’s Amaya Leisure says it wants to put 100 million US dollars into four hotels over the next four years. Its affiliate Colombo Continental will put in another 60 million US dollars.

John Keells Holdings has said it has lined up over 50 million US dollars to put in to hotels over the next two to three years.

Of that the group has already spent 5.0 million US dollars to refurbish its property in Trincomalee and has kicked off a 25 million US dollar hotel in Beruwela in the southwest coast, says Krishan Balendra, head of strategic planning in the group.

A 10 million US dollar refurbishment of Coral Gardens Hotel in Hikkaduwa, also in the southwest, has also started.

Turning Around

Balendra says occupancy at their hotels are about 80 percent from around half that before the end of a 30-year war in May 2009. Average room rates at its two large Colombo five star rated hotels have also increased to 70 to 90 dollars a day.

Weerasinghe s