Sri Lanka still short of 100,000 hotel rooms to meet inbound tourist traffic

SriLankan Airlines has upped the tempo on promotions, new destinations and aircrafts, but says the country is still short of 100,000 hotel rooms to meet inbound tourist traffic. SriLankan Airlines has upped the tempo on promotions, new destinations and aircrafts, but says the country is still short of 100,000 hotel rooms to meet inbound tourist traffic. According to the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, there are around 14,000 hotel rooms, with an annual average occupancy of 60 to 70 percent.

The industry estimates around 20,000-hotel rooms are needed by 2006, to keep up with an expected 600,000 tourists. But based on 2004 arrivals, the numbers might surpass as early as 2005. Arrivals for 2004 are expected to grow 12 percent to 560,000.

A tourist spends on average US$ 60 per day, though total earnings jumped 25 percent to about US$ 320 mn in 2003.

The industry is bending its back to re-position Sri Lanka for niche travelers who spend well above the daily average.

SriLankan says it is doing its bit, offering ‘year round’ excitement be it leisure, sports, religious, nature, adventure, archeology, recreation and sun ‘n sand.

Besides a shake up in the peace process