Technology changing the face of travel bookings, Sri Lanka should be more concerned


Oct 7, 2015 (LBO) - Sri Lanka tourism sector needs to look into travel booking platforms using internet and mobile technology to attract more visitors to the island, an analysts told a forum held in Colombo. “One of the consumer surveys that we did shows that foremost of any travel booking is use of internet,” Shabori Das, senior analyst of EuroMonitor, a research firm told a tourism forum held in Sri Lanka, Colombo. “We google almost everything these days and that is the same thing with travel booking as well,” she said. Internet users are more comfortable and at ease with making online bookings and purchases due to increase of access to smartphones and with the improvement of global connectivity.
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Das says according to a survey done by EuroMonitor, the respondents who used internet for travel searches, online search emerge as the first step for travel bookings. graph1 “I have taken US, UK, India and China as leading source markets for Sri Lanka, India and Maldives and find that 60 percent of all bookings are made though using internet, by travel websites and using social media,” Das said. “Even Mobile application has emerged immensely as a travel booking method.” She said that reports shows that more than 50 percent of bookings in India and China done by mobile travel channels. “This has become extremely common around the globe,” “But when it comes to Sri Lanka and Maldives, the consent of mobile channelings is almost negligible.” “Any company who is in this trade needs to look at mobile travelling phase. This is kind of a channel that no longer can be avoided in any economy or in any country who is planning to become big tourist destination.” graph2 Sri Lanka was visited by 1.31 million tourists up to September up from 17.1 percent from a year earlier. For the month of September Sri Lanka welcomed 1.43 million visitors, up 35.9 percent in September 2015 from a year ago. Sri Lanka is now drawing attention of the world with the end of Tamil tiger war in 2009. The government of Sri Lanka is backing increased internet penetration by giving free Wi-Fi access around the island. “I always book hotels using internet, which is very easy for me. Even though I book hotels in Sri Lanka it is easier to book a hotel though online rather than calling them several times,” Nuwan Gunarathne, an IT professional told LBO. Thailand based was one of the regional pioneers from the 1990s that still exist while, which has a selling model of discount rooms also became popular. Data showed that had about 30 Sri Lankan hotel listed in 2009, and by October 2015 Agoda has thousands of Sri Lankan properties including luxury to rooms and offers 582 choices in Kandy and 382 in Colombo., an Amsterdam based firm which is also owned by Priceline has 4020 properties listed for Sri Lanka. “I prefer to book a hotel though internet, so that I can read what other travelers has experienced in the same hotel and get help tips also.
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I read about 2-4 sites for reviews before making a booking.Plus the booking sites offer competitive prices than the original hotel price and we get a chance to select which price we are going for,” D. Dassnayake , an management professional told LBO. “The other advantage as a constant traveler I have is to comment on the hotel. I have spent nights in some so called star class hotels who has below the level service. Comments on those will help the other travelers to think twice before booking and also to the hotel to get improved.” Sri Lanka tourism board official said the island gets 60 percent bookings though online platforms.
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8 years ago

Dear Lux,
I think you have misunderstood the content. The writer had quoted Das “I have taken US, UK, India and China as leading source markets for Sri Lanka, India and Maldives” which means my friend if US can be a source market for Maldives or India if not Sri Lanka. Don’t comment if you don’t understand the content. UK, India and China are key source markets for Sri Lanka.

8 years ago

Good Content, the problem with Sri Lanka is that government official do not understand this. they come and say very stuff. but they are NIL in with this online market. Even digital campaigns are rarely done by them. due to that SL is loosing big numbers.

8 years ago

This is what lack in Sri Lanka. we need to stop spending on this visit Sri Lanka stupidity and have a online campaign

8 years ago

what is required from the trade is better understanding of e-based promotions.
for example being listed in a travel site counts for shyt , if there are no comments and ratings from the guests.
the more good comments from guests a hotel gets, its ranking in travel site will rise. the major chains employ specific staff to get the guests to comment on their hotels.
this coin has another side also. just becoz ur a guest it does not mean u can go to the website and comment. the guest needs to register with the site first. so it may be a brick wall for some people who are not into these “e thingys”!
more and more young and middle aged travel on their own as opposed to tour groups. more of less now the tour groups have become the domain of retired (elderly). also business travelers also prefer to use the net to look for hotels.
one area we have missed the bus is medical tourism. india thailand singapore are now in the front of this segment. the richer do go to europe us or auzzy but the rest will go to more cheap places.
our people in powerful seats have no idea about the market or its developments. they just regurgitate same thing like parrots to everyone, so much so its embarrassing.
was invited to a travel promotion in middle east city one time. the theme was mice tourism to sri lanka and why we are better.the presenter did a wonderful power point about the wild life, the beaches and the heritage sites in srilanka and the hotels and hospitality. SERIOUSLY???? do they know what mice is? a city tour or a visit to a relevant place related to the meeting is acceptable BUT wild life and beach?

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