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Sri Lanka’s Serendib Hotels boosted by online sales


June 23, 2015 (LBO) – Serendib Hotels Plc, a unit of Sri Lanka’s Hemas group said the group revenue increase was supported by the growth of emerging markets and online bookings while occupancy level were up two percent. “A notable increase was observed in the volume of online bookings during the year, particularly from new emerging markets in East Asia,” the company told shareholders in the it's annual repot 2014/2015. “Interestingly, among all group properties, Hotel Sigiriya experienced the largest online booking volume for the 2014/15 period.” The company owns and operates five hotels in Sri Lanka including Club Hotel Dolphin, Hotel Sigiriya, AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa and AVANI Kalutara Resort. Overall occupancy levels of the Group for the year improved by two percentage points, with all hotels performing well, notwithstanding the challenges encountered during the peak season, the company said. All the group hotels experienced a 17 percent increase in revenue from online bookings. “We have continued to pursue key strategic partnerships with Online Travel Agents (OTAs), which has allowed us to benefit from the better yield offered via this channel,” Ranil De Silva, Managing Director of Serandib Hotels said. The company said it uses the online booking platform as a barometer to gauge customer pulse. “The steady growth of online travel agents has led to the informal sector receiving more visibility with wider reach to the end customer, resulting in more room nights generated to this sector,” the company said. “The group stepped up measures to further develop the online market, vis-à-vis improvements to the web based monitoring and online feedback mechanism. Conventional business channels continued to bring in bookings from traditional markets, with international travel promoters being the most significant source of volumes.” Serendib Hotels, reported profits of 201.3 million rupees for the year ended march 2015 up 32.6 percent from a year earlier, with its flagship Avani Bentora Resort and Spa upgrading restaurants and kicking off the second phase of the Hotel Sigiriya refurbishment in May 2014. The group reported earnings of 1.81 rupees per share, for the year ended 2015. Meanwhile, both Hotel Sigiriya and Club Hotel Dolphin were among the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, "Hall of Fame" inductees for 2015, having secured the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award, for five consecutive years. Among the other notable accolades, Club Hotel Dolphin was recognized by leading online travel agents, claiming both The “Holiday Check Award–2015 for Beach Holidays” and also the “TripAdvisor : Travellers Choice –Top 25 Hotels in Sri Lanka” award.
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