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Sri Lanka holidays invest $10 billion in tourism sector

Preparing for the rapid influx of travellers flocking down to their pristine shores, Sri Lanka's tourism sector is heavily investing in the country's tourism infrastructure as they put $10b towards expanding room capacity and upgrading current hotels.

Sri Lanka holidays invest $10 billion in tourism sector

Quickly stepping up to the challenge as they gear up to face the increasing number of tourist arrivals Sri Lanka holidays are investing US$ 10 billion to enhance the room capacity and upgrade Sri Lanka hotels. "It is necessary to carry out brand building and image enhancement activities. Brand development is needed to improve credibility, dependability, believability and acceptability in the minds of the tourists," Jetwing Hotels Ltd Chairman Hiran Cooray explained.

Speaking at a seminar on current development and future prospects for Sri lanka holidays organised by Acuity Stock Brokers (Pvt) Ltd last week in Colombo, he also added that approximately 2,000-3,000 new hotel rooms will be constructed during 2010 as the country aims to add approximately 20,000 hotel rooms in the next six years to cater to the anticipated boom in tourism, as more and more interests grows among travellers opting for Sri Lanka holidays.

The Tourism Development Authority has already approved the construction of new hotels in Passekudah and Batticaloa to promote eastern beaches as a tourist destination. Further, new zones which are being developed as tourist hotel sites are, Kuchchaveli north of the eastern port and five islands in Kalpitiya, which would be similar to the ones that can be found during Maldives holidays.

As far as developing tourism related infrastructure facilities go, the Government plans to build a domestic airport at Uchchamunai, an under-water amusement park in Kandakkuliya, a golf course in Dutch Bay, a race course and a cricket ground in Kalpitiya. Fishing Tourism, Leisure Tourism and Ayurvedic Tourism are some of the concepts the Government is planning to implement to attract the global appeal.

For the year 2009 the tourism sector enjoyed total earnings of nearly Rs 40,133 million which is equivalent to US$ 350 mn an increase of 8 percent over 2008. Also with higher post war rate structure expected after November 2010, annual earnings should surpass US$ 500 million.

The overall occupancy rate hit an average of 48.4 percent in 2009 when compared with the corresponding period of 43%. Further the occupancy rates hit an all time high for the first three months of 2010 at an average of 82 %t.

Considering the top ten contributors to Sri Lanka holidays, India retained its top position in 2008 and 2009, though the arrivals from India decreased by 2 % in absolute terms while the UK remained in second position with an increase of 263 tourists taking Sri Lanka holidays in 2009.

It is a noteworthy feature that new source markets like Canada and Japan are now featuring in the list while Japan which was dropped from the list in 2008 has come back to the top ten arrivals as a result of the Japanese Government relaxing their travel advisories on Sri Lanka holidays.

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