Homestays now vital part of Sri Lanka tourism offer

Mirror Business reports Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) chairman and Jetwing boss Hiran Cooray as saying that “the blooming informal sector in tourism is positive, when taking into account the greater interests of the country”.

He was speaking at the recent United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference in Passikudha. “This is a natural evolution of tourism and that up to 40 percent of tourists coming to Sri Lanka now stay in homestay units,” he said.

Read the full report here.

Minimum room rate to be scrapped

Travel Wire Asia reports that in a move that will benefit tourists, Sri Lanka is to scrap the US$125-per-night minimum room rate for five-star hotels.

It was introduced in 2009 at the end of the civil war in a bid to stop hotels undercutting each other after smaller hotels complained of excessive price cuts by larger properties.

Read the full report here.

Cinnamon to build 5-star hotel in Nuwara Eliya

Leading Sri Lankan hotel group John Keells is to build a 120–130-room, US$ 25 million 5-star resort in Nuwara Eliya under its flagship Cinnamon brand.

Group Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunawardena told Mirror Business: “In terms of our portfolio, Nuwara Eliya is missing. In the medium term, it’s an important location on the round trip—the ‘Cinnamon Trail’ to complete the Cinnamon experience.”

Read the full report here.

Tourism booming in Sri Lanka

The Tourism Development Authority reports that tourist numbers grew by 17.8 percent between 2014 and 2015, with a record 1.8 million in 2015. and is on pace to surpass 2 million during 2016.

They are also spending more time and money here. The average visitor spent 9.9 nights on the island in 2014, 38.4 percent up from 2013, and spent about $160 a day on average, up from about $156.

Read the full report here.

How will Brexit impact UK tourists in Sri Lanka?

The Daily FT reports that the impact of Brexit—Britain leaving the EU—should prompt Sri Lanka “to take a good hard look at British tourist arrivals over the years … and try to ascertain the real importance of the British market to Sri Lanka tourism”.

Critically, while behind China and India in terms of numbers, the UK generates a higher number of Foreign (or International) Guest Nights (FGN) or (IGN)—2,385,490 (13%), higher than either India or China, even though the overall UK arrival numbers (161,845) are almost 50% less than China.  

Read the full report here.

TripAdvisor hated and slated by UK travel writer

Guardian writer Marina O’Loughlin says that “regardless of the fact that it is riddled with fakes and idiots, a huge number of otherwise sensible people continue to give credence to the aggregated opinion of, at best, unqualified strangers”.

“Every week brings a new story about how useless TripAdvisor is, how it enables users who are corrupt/greedy/mendacious … the site trundles on like a marauder, spewing an ever-increasing volume of freely given, unpaid “content”, as it has since its conception in 2000.”

Read the full report here.


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