Sri Lanka mulls listed state budget hotel firm

Sept 12, 2011 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government plans to set up a listed company to manage ‘rest houses’, state-owned budget hotels often sited in scenic locations, according to its new tourism strategy. “Hence the government is currently looking at a few alternatives to facilitate domestic tourism.”

It said it was considering “greater involvement” by government agencies in investing in and managing the rest houses, which are currently leased to private operators now.

“A government company with some shares issued to the public will be formed to manage these properties,” the tourism strategy by Sri Lanka Tourism, the tourism promotion agency, said.

It is also considering better use of ‘circuit bungalows’ or houses owned by government ministries and agencies scattered around the island,ou again many at scenic locations, meant to house visiting officials.

“Once upgraded to the required standards these bungalows can be marketed through a common marketing unit or Sri Lanka Tourism website where a rooms booking engine is already in place.”

These moves were part of a planned effort to cater to growing domestic tourism – travel by locals who during the war years had helped keep rooms fi