Sri Lanka lacks high-end shopping malls to attract affluent travelers: Report

July 15, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka still lacks malls that can give its high-end tourists the holistic retail experience, despite the growth in retail options in the Island, a recent report said.

“Despite the growth in retail options the city still lacks high-end shopping malls to entice the affluent travelers by providing them a holistic retail experience within one luxury shopping mall,” Bartleet Religare Securities (BRS) in a report on the tourism industry said.

“Sri Lanka is currently promoting itself to the growing number of Chinese tourists and studies show that most Chinese tourists are shopping centric and tech savvy with a love for major brands,”

“New high end shopping malls are set to enter the city’s landscape via development projects only by 2018.”

These projects are undertaken mainly by companies in the likes of John Keells Holdings, Overseas Realty, Silver Needle Hospitality Group and Shangri-La.

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka is a gateway to the country due to the presence of the international airport and the growing number of shopping options the city houses, the report said.

Restoration projects undertaken by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) at heritage sites such as the independence square and Colombo racecourse has increased the retail, cinema and dining options in Colombo.

According to data Colombo has eight operational malls with a built-up area of 0.66 million square feet and an average vacancy rate of 5 percent.