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Upcoming hotel properties, charter flights would lift Lanka’s tourism despite snags: report

22 January 2016 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
Tourism in Sri Lanka is likely to find growth through a combination of upcoming properties of international hotel chains and charter flights, despite other shortcomings.

“While the market is expected to be extremely competitive with the hotel supply additions, the new international brands can be expected to drive their own demand with their strong distribution channels and new, contemporary products,” a report by Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) said.
It added that new charter agreements have already been signed ahead of the large number of hotel developments, which will bolster tourism arrival numbers.
While the tourism arrival numbers have been increasing each year since the end of the war, from 654,476 to 1.8 million in 2015, the growth levels have been in constant decline from 46.12 percent to 17.8 percent in the same period.

The only exception was in 2013, when growth levels increased year-on-year due to the government adopting a different arrivals counting methodology. Experts have said that this lull in growth could only be revived through new promotional campaigns. However, the state took over the tourism promotional fund along with funds of other industries in the recent budget.

To draw funds for promotions, the industry would have to play the budget cycle for 2017.
In view of the criticism, authorities released a document saying that ‘dynamic’ promotional campaigns will take place. 
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