08th March 2012, www.dailynews.lk, By Shirajiv Sirimane
Sri Lanka would add 3,000 star class hotel rooms by the year end with over 1,000 rooms being added in Passikudah.Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane told ‘Daily News business’ that with peace, Sri Lanka has become a investment paradise for both local and foreign hoteliers and investors. The Citrus group which opened in Hikkaduwa would add around 100 rooms in Waskaduwa. Director of the group Mani Sugathapala said that the response for their new hotel in Hikkaduwa was very good as they maintained 95% occupancy since their opening.
“The average service charge from our guests was nearly Rs. 30,000” he said. Currently a 125 room three star resort is being built in Uda Walawa, which would be ready by the end of the year while several hotel projects that commenced last year would be completed for winter.
The minister said that in Trincomalee too new hotels are coming up and most of the new hotels are owned by new players to the industry who are exploiting the booming local hotel industry. In addition several more hotels have also added rooms.
He said that in addition to Shangri-La and CATIK Corporation both from China, leading global hotel chain Hyatt too has once again expressed interest to get involved with the abandoned Hyatt Residencies a stalled project by entrepreneur, Lalith Kotelawela. In addition an Israeli hotel investor has come forward to build a 150 hotel complex in Koggala with a local tea exporter.
Investors from Qatar are likely to build a 500 room resort in one of the islands in Kalpitiya and with this investment they would also invest to extend the Colombo Katunayake highway up to Kalpitiya.
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka has clearly shown an increase with a 30.8% growth last year accounting to 855,975 arrivals. Number of popular world magazines, such as National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, New York Times, Lonely Planet has recommended Sri Lanka as a must destination to visit in 2011 and 2012 thereby adding value to the destination.
The National Geographic magazine went to the extent of identifying Grand Hotel Nuwaral Eliya as one of the best hotels to visit in 2012. Meanwhile German Tour operators who brought in highest number of tourists to Sri Lanka in 2011 were also honoured yesterday in recognition to the contribution made to Sri Lanka Tourism.
The best German Tour Operators for 2011 - DERTOUR/MWR Group, Ground handling -Go Vacations (Jetwing Travels), Second place, F T I Group, (Journey Scapes Pvt Ltd.),Third Place, Diethelm Travels.
Related Info :
• Sri Lanka Tourism Statistics and Tourist Arrivals
• Sri Lanka Shangri La Colombo Hotel Construction Begins. 661 Room Hotel to Occupy 10 Acres of Land Facing Galle Face Green Promenade