Sri Lanka needs to up its game to attract high-spending tourists

1 June 2018 09:59 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • JKH Chairman says SL should improve tourism product and entertainment offering
  • Says increased room inventory exerts pressure on city sector’s average room rates


Sri Lanka needs to up its game in developing its tourism product and entertainment offering to attract higher spending tourists, a top official of Sri Lanka’s largest hotelier John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), which owns and operates hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and Maldives, said.


“With new capacity expected to come on stream over the next few years, especially into the city, it is important for the country to improve its overall tourism offering, including its product and entertainment offering to attract the higher spending tourists,” JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake told shareholders in the firm’s latest annual report released yesterday.

The comment comes in the backdrop of the blue chip constructing its mega mixed development project, Cinnamon Life in the heart of Colombo, mainly targeting the contemporary tourist and MICE traffic. The project also has 231 residence units and 10 floors of commercial space.

Meanwhile, Ratnayake said the increased room inventory arising out of new entrants into the 3-5-star segments of the market and the resultant competitive pricing, exerted pressure on the city sector’s average room rates during the period under review. 

“However, it is heartening to note that the total number of room nights occupied in the city increased by 14 percent, underscoring the steady absorption of new room capacity within the sector,” he said.

JKH owns and operates two city hotels—Cinnamon Grand and Cinnamon Lakeside—in Colombo, which saw their top and bottom lines negatively affected in the most recent quarter due to the reasons mentioned by Ratnayake.


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