An international-standard star ranking system for Sri Lankan hotels has been launched by government tourism officials, with enforcement backed by tough new penalties.

The FT newspaper reports Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director General Malraj Kiriella as insisting “the mechanism was essential to ensure high industry standards in the future”.

He warned that SLTDA was amending the penalty fee from the current Rs.500 to up to Rs.200,000, while establishing an Enforcement Unit to take action against errant hotels.

The purpose is to boost confidence among tourists and visitors. “We are targeting about 4.5 million tourists and earnings of $10 billion that would create 800,000 jobs by 2020; thus having a star-rated mechanism is useful to ensure quality standards in the industry.”

The FT notes that according to the Extraordinary Gazette No. 1963/28, “all registered hotels in the country should be classified on a star-class basis, with every registered proprietor responsible for complying with the minimum requirements”.

“Hotels will be reclassified every three years, and during this time each establishment would be allowed the use of the approved symbol for that particular classification along with the name of the hotel.”

Read the full report here.

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