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Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

West Harptree...
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Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

if you're looking for a budget holiday/long trip then Sri Lanka probably isn't for you. Since Lonely Planet was published in August 2009 prices have gone up more than 50%.

Comments from other travellers that we have met also confirm this.

There also appears to be an increase in the amount of threatening behaviour from the "low life" of this island. This has been borne out by fellow travellers we met in Thailand last year who have a property in Mirissa. It's purely a matter of time before someone is killed or severely injured as our female friend has herself been threatened with GBH by a heroin addicted beach boy.

However, do NOT let this distract from the vast majority of Sri Lankan people. They are very friendly, very helpful and lovely happy folk. Just be aware that there are scum everywhere and, it appears, that here they are getting bolder by the day.

I have read some of the posts, and have my personal experiences, of scams/beach boys/commission gits/three wheeler jokers.......so please fellow travellers, stand your ground and if necessary walk away and say, "you can have the appropriate rate or you can have nothing. What is it to be"?

They will probably take nothing but then it's their loss and you won't walk away feeling cheated and having made it worse for the next person.

Neil

UAE
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1. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

whoa!

thts a strong post there. Did somthing happen on your trip to Sri-land. Please share as we are currently planning a trip ourselves. Some tips can definitely come in handy

St Austell
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2. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

I think Neil's comments are fair and not as a result of any particular event. Prices HAVE shot up in the past year as a result of increased visitor numbers. Guesthouses have increased their prices by silly amounts, often without any investment in their facilities and it is only a matter of time before people switch off and look elsewhere to get better value. It's up to us all to walk away from overpriced places and overpriced excursions ... they would soon get the message.

There have always been touts and con men, not just in Sri Lanka, and once again, Neil points out that the vast majority of Sri Lankan people are charming people who will go out of their way to help you and make you welcome. It only takes one bad experience to ruin the holiday though, so visitors need to be aware of the scams, just as they would anywhere in the world.

Sue

Colchester
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3. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

I agree, it is up to visitors to walk away from over-priced accommodation and services. In my experience offering a reasonable sum on a take it or leave it basis usually gets the 'leave it' response from the over chargers but only in the knowledge that someone else will ultimately pay it. Prices will always rise to what the current market will stand rather than what is fair and reasonable. It is therefore up to the tourist community to make it clear that there is a limit to what will be tolerated and there are other places in the world with as much to offer as Sri Lanka and in many cases, at a lower cost.

Of course, there is an issue with this approach and it is that for the first time visitor it is difficult to know what is fair and reasonable. It is all very well us DEs going on about what prices used to be like before the end of the conflict but how can newcomers be expected to know whether, in the climate today, any increases are justified? I suppose that is where TA comes in. A bit of forward planning and research, such as is often seen on here, will give a good idea of what you should pay for a room, a meal, a drink or a taxi ride, etc and the more informed visitors there are, the better to ensure that rip offs are restricted. We do get what we pay for and if we pay too much, that's what we get.

I accept that, with an increase in tourism, prices will go up but this should be accompanied by an improvement of services and facilities and not least, an increase in what employees are paid. However, it is worrying to see that some (DEs amongst them) are becoming aware that Sri Lanka is not necessarily offering good value for money these days. Hopefully, enough will make a stand against this, otherwise it may be the case that tourism will ultimately suffer. When on holiday, it is a hard choice to say no and perhaps have to walk or take a bus rather than pay the over-priced tuk-tuk rate but this is what the rip-off merchants depend on.

I love Sri Lanka and have many good friends who work in the travel and tourism industry there and so I want to see it do well. So, it is for this reason that I join with those standing up to the greed of those out to make a fast buck, regardless of what it does to the reputation of the Sri Lankan tourism industry.

David.

Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

Totally agree with everything Susie has to say and hopefully we travelers will insist on improved facilities or start walking away until some sense hits the operators there. I was quite shocked on my recent trip as to the changes in the eight months since my previous visit.

Sri Lanka is still a great place and I can only ope that things will level out for the locals as well as the travelers.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

Market is all about demand and supply.When demand is more price will hike.Eventually price will settle down when demand is less or new players enter the market..So nothing would be permanent...

Perth, Australia
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6. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

As a lover of Sri Lanka, I was sad to read all the comments on this thread. Traveltom & I were there again just a year ago and both thought that everything was wonderful value for money at that time, together with great service and welcome. We certainly didn't come across any nastiness or scamming that was worthy of mention. Perhaps we're just used to the scam attempts as we regularly travel to many countries within south east asia and it was easy to spot and ignore.

I can only think that, as the people are recovering from the effects of so many years of hardship and difficulty, the new found supposed "wealth" of tourists who are now travelling, has quite turned the heads of a certain section of the population and greed has taken over. A whole generation don't know anything about the average tourist, so it will be a learning curve which hopefully won't take too long for them to adjust to. It's such a wonderful country that it would be an evil shame for both the locals and proposed visitors for it to be spoiled because of "make hay while the sun shines" attitudes.

Oslo, Norway
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7. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

Well, well Neil, I just returned from traveling in India, been going there since 1973. Talk about scams! It's been developed to a science there. Very polished and under the surface to extremely rude and blatant behaviour by taxi, autorickshaws, even guides, not satisfied with the amount of tip they received.

BUT, this only exists if you are cowed by the touts and scammers, for us that see through their game, it's water off a ducks back.

We had a wonderful trip and don't think I over paid once, they try of course, wouldn't you.

If you see tourists sitting on the beach with a Kendle or Ipad reading on a gizmo that costs more than the locals make in a year, I would try too. . . . A man is bargaining with a rickshaw driver wearing a Tag Heuer watch that's the drivers wages for more than 2 years, and he's arguing over 5 cents.....

Niel, if you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler... Not too much... But don't expect him to play for free.

Inflation in England in 2010 broke all records, London is not cheap, so I think you can afford that extra rupee now and then... If you want to complain about costs, come to Norway sometime.

Ranger Bob

8. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

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Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

I think Sl is little cheaper than India.At least compare with the metro cities in India..

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: Lanka is not a budget destination for Independent Travellers

Loved your response Ranger Bob. You're so right about seeing tourists haggling over 5 cents. Bargaining is expected throughout all these countries, but being miserly when sporting expensive gear is downright rude and bad manners.

Whenver we travel to India, S.L. or any of the south east asian countries, we leave the expensive goodies at home and don't wear designer lable clothing - unless it's a copy.

Ah, India! We've only just recently returned from our 4th trip also and agree the locals love a good scam and are very good at it. I do think, however, that if there was a competition for "Scam City", Bangkok would have to win. I love the place, but I find it amazing to see tourists falling for the old tuk tuk trick over and over again.

Edited: 26 January 2011, 04:05