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City hotel occupancy far below expectations

18 November 2013 01:02 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The average occupancy rates of the hotels in Colombo remained far below expectations during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, according to the Colombo City Hotels Association Chairman M. Shanthi kumar.

A number of star-class city hotels including Taj Samudra, Cinnamon Grand and several other relatively small hotels carried out expensive refurbishments targeting CHOGM 2013.

“At the peak, from November 15th to 16th, the average occupancy rate was 55 percent. The average occupancy during 10th to 13th was at 30 percent and during 13th to 14th it was around 40 percent. This was far below our expectations,” Shanthi kumar said.

According to him, the original expectation was that a minimum of 4,000 city hotel rooms will be occupied.  “I don’t want to comment on the reasons, but only 2000 to 2100 rooms were occupied during the event.”

A hotelier who preferred anonymity said, “If it were not for the CHOGM, the average occupancy rate in his hotel at this time of the year would have been at 75 to 80 percent.

“We lost a good Rs.80 million of business due to CHOGM,” he noted.

Another hotelier who also requested anonymity said, most of the mega tourism events organized by the government and government agencies had been banes for hotels instead of boons. “Some of the hotels are yet to be paid for accommodating IIFA delegates,” he said.

The five-star hotels—Cinnamon Grand, Cinnamon Lakeside, Hilton Colombo, Taj Samudra, The Kingsbury and Galadari were kept open only for delegates and they were unable to serve non-resident clients during the event.

The hotel rates prescribed by the government for delegates attending the summit were:5 star – US $571 net, 4 star –US $431, 3 star – US $343, 2 star – US $273 net and 1 star – US $159.

According to Sri Lanka Tourism, the rates were based on the previous Commonwealth summits in Perth and Trinidad. The higher room rates were also designed to cover up the loss of business during the period due to entry restrictions for non-summit visitors.
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  Comments - 8

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  • HudsonSmith Friday, 28 February 2014 08:50 AM

    Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing?

    sobers Monday, 18 November 2013 07:01 AM

    Pundits at the tourist board are to be blamed. They are not professionals in the trade. The best are with the private sector. Unless, the strategy changes in the tourist sector, we are going to be disastrous. Now, the supply of rooms are more than the demand. Having season for 3 to 5 months in no purpose, Also some fool in the tourist board had suggested that he would break into the Thai market. This shows is knowledge. Wake up before it's too late! Also our services are poor unlike the good old days.

    chena Monday, 18 November 2013 09:53 AM

    Just wondering. None of the comments are related to LTTE Tamils Diasporas. Why people Please wake up at least until March 2014. After that you all will be sleeping permanently.

    Snake Monday, 18 November 2013 01:17 AM

    What a waste of a lifetime. They should have kept the hotels open for regular visitors. More importantly 'Colombo hotels should know who they are' and hence price the rooms appropriately. Colombo is not London or Perth !
    For that matter Colombo hotel prices in general are exhorbitant ! Of course any sensible tourist will think of other locations such as Bangkok, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia for that same price.

    Kaslana Monday, 18 November 2013 01:42 AM

    $571 for a 5*dump

    Chugum Monday, 18 November 2013 02:04 AM

    This servers the hotels right. They jacked up the room rates to crazy levels. Never be too greedy. A good lesson for all of us. So the CHOGM was a flop politically and financially for Sri Lanka.

    Cobra Monday, 18 November 2013 02:07 AM

    What do they expect with all the road closures and upped rates?

    Adonis Monday, 18 November 2013 10:50 AM

    At least now our statistic with the number of arrivals will give a basic idea on how they calculate the arrival of 1,000,000, tourists.Those calculations are made of arrivals on Tourist VISA from Pakistan, Bangaladesh, India and Maldive Islands. They arrive on Tourist Visa to work in Paddy Fields and to do odd jobs to earn their daily Bread.Hotel owners are aware of these figures. Unfortunately Manmohan Sing didn't participate at CHOGM. If not we would have had a big crowed, but not to fill hotels at these rates. That's just to occupy rooms where they can make Rotti and Chapathi by using the Iron in rooms as once mentioned by Dayasiri Jayasekara.


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