The Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) this week that the January 2010 performance of hotels in the country has been excellent with arrivals reaching 50,750, a 32% increase on January 2009.
A statement by the THASL President Srilal Miththapala said the main contribution to this increase has been the British market, up by 24.6%, Germany up by 54% and India up by 73.5%. January and February are two of the busiest months in the tourism calendar and is the peak of the high season.
In January 2010, resort hotels had occupancies close upon 70% to 80% for the month. Even the circuit hotels in the cultural triangle area, which were relatively low, have picked up and are now doing well with about 65% occupancy levels. Mr. Miththapala said these high occupancies, coupled with enhanced high season room rates has resulted in almost all resort hotels posting high revenues for the month with healthy net profit returns.
Many hotels are also facing over-booking situations, a ‘problem’ which Sri Lankan hotels have not experienced for a long time. In Colombo, five star hotels have done very well reaching occupancy levels of 55% to 60%, indicating a 25% year on year growth. Mr. Miththapala said this increase has come from the leisure and corporate segment and not necessarily from convention and incentive travel.
The lower category city hotels have fared much better with an occupancy rates closer to 80%.
Overall, the THASL is expecting February 2010 to be ever better if the rapid increase in tourist arrivals continues. With the contracting season for room sales for next winter now underway, most hoteliers will be looking to adjust their rates to reflect a more realistic price level from the current rate structures which were in place during the war situation. Mr. Miththapala said some of the bigger hotel companies will be undertaking several refurbishing and upgrading programmes during the forthcoming summer months.
As a result, there will be some room stock reduced from the inventory for the summer period. The Negombo area in particular will see several hotels partially reducing their operations, to undertake substantial refurbishing activities.