Sri Lanka luxury hotel rides internet market

June 8, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s The Fortress Resort and Spa, a luxury hotel, said it is making a strong push into internet marketing, striking partnership with online travel agencies, with global internet bookings now overtaking those from traditional agents. Chief executive Sumith Adjihetty said the hotel has struck deals with online travel agencies such as Jetsetter, Impulseflyier and Exosphere.

“These valuable tie-ups have helped us market the hotel better in the run up to the peak season,” Adhihetty told shareholders in the annual report.

The firm said according to data from World Travel Monitor, online bookings are now half of global bookings, while travel agents had a third of the market.

The firm had also participated in key travel fairs including ITB 2011 in Berlin, Leisure 2011 in Moscow and World Travel Market 2011 in London and New York Travel Show 2012 in the USA.

Fortress said it had an average occupancy of 66 percent in 2011, with a spike to 95 percent in the second half of the financial year.

Key shareholders of the hotel are Sri Lanka’s Vallibel group and MJF Holdings.

The hotel said revenues rose 11.5 percent to 464 million rupees in the year to March and expenses fell 1.5 percent to 109 million rupees allowing