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High Rates

Santa Barbara...
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High Rates

I know this is a topic that comes on and off. I just wanted to share my recent experiences in regards to rates.

I usually visit Sri Lanka every year or so and from SL. After visiting several hotels I am quite amazed by the rates. I was told many reasons as to why the rates are so high, none of which makes any sense to me.

1. War is over so rates are higher ! I think safe environment is something that everyone expect. It is a basic need. In other words this translates to that 3 years ago rates were cheaper because you could have gotten killed while on vacation, so here is a discount for ya. You cannot charge a higher rate because country is peaceful as it is a basic need.

2. The 2nd reason is there is an influx of tourists, it is a basic principal of supply and demand. Is this really true? Even with better profits most hotels ran less than 60% occupancy. How many of these " so called tourists" are ex-Sri Lankans with citizenship from other European countries who visited Sri Lanka on 30 day tourist visa? When I visited the hotels I didn't see full hotels. Early check ins, no lines, and staff is just waiting around.

( of course good for the guests) In most of the hotels restaurants were empty except few hotels like Cinnomon Grand. Some were busy only due to weddings.

3. People are converting their houses to hotels wanting a piece of the pie. Just because you add some new bathroom fittings and change the decor you cannot call your house a 5 star boutique hotel or provide least facilities and called it a eco Hotel ?

Prices for some these places are over $ 200 a night. This is nothing but a highway robbery.

I mean I understand this whole concept of the country wanting to cater to high end tourists or someone who would really want to visit Sri Lanka for some unique feature it has to offer regardless of the cost. i.e. whale watching. I myself a hotelier and manage a hotel in California. It just seems like the price is set not according to what the country/hotel has to offer , but with what people in US or Europe pay for a hotel room in the same star class( star class it self declared by the hotel anyways in SL). and set those rates as the Sri Lankan rate thinking that foreigners can and will afford that. Some will, but most tourists will look elsewhere. There is a general misconception in Sri Lanka that all the foreigners are rich and dumb and it is ok to rip them off in every chance you get. i.e. two different prices for locals vs. foreigners, even at temple of tooth. Then we talked about our great hospitality. I was also told some of these " so called boutique " hotels are owned by foreigners to rip off fellow tourists.

There are many 4-5 star hotels in Beverly Hills that is cheaper than Sri Lanka. Problem here is that once you step out from any hotel in Sri Lanka it is not Beverly Hills or Bora Bora. To say it nicely I would say that Sri Lanka badly need some infrastructure.

There is no point saying how better accommodation/price you can find in regional competitors like Maldives, Thailand, Singapore, etc for the same price. I didn't post this just to put Sri Lanka down. It is just sad the direction country is moving. As a developing country SL cannot pick and choose whom they want to serve. At least not at this time. If we build more hotels and keep rates high all the millionaires in the world will visit SL is a false assumption. If you create a bubble it surely is going to burst at some point.

Fredericia, Denmark
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41. Re: High Rates

Then I must have been lucky;-) Travelling in Sri Lenka for more than 30 years.

Hans

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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42. Re: High Rates

Probably yes, we're doing it for 40+ years (Sandya) and 20+ years (me) ;-)

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Loch Lomond
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43. Re: High Rates

Seemed to be no shortage of rats near where we were in Aluthgama/Bentota last year Hans. Are you sure you have never seen one?

Just take a walk in the dark and you'll see their eyes sparkling as they scurry around your feet in some places.

But then that's yet another topic.

London, United...
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44. Re: High Rates

Hans - DEN

January 1st IS a public holiday in Sri Lanka.

London, United...
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45. Re: High Rates

ruwan19 - I'm afraid as patriotic as you might claim to be like the Lion on our flag, there's no hiding from the fact that Sri Lanka is well and truly ripping off tourists particularly the foreign kind. While the instances are far too numerous to illustrate here, I will site just the example of exorbitant entry charges at places of historic interests and museums. At Sigiriya they charge just Rs. 100 from locals and the foreigner........? Yes, a whopping Rs. 4200/- . At Anuradhapura's sacred city area, it's free for the locals but Rs.3200/- for the foreigner. At Polonnaruwa it's the same. At Anuradhapura museum it's US$25 (Rs.3200) and free for others. These charges are not only unfair but an embarrassment to all fair minded Sri Lankan people. Because you might react to UK and other European or US entrance fees as those of a 'rich, capitalist, 1st world countries' I will site the charges for foreigners at similar places in India and Thailand as examples. In India, they charge Indian Rupees 500 to enter the Taj Mahal and Rs. 60 to enter Lumbini from foreigners. In Thailand, it's just 40 baht to enter the royal palace at Chiang Mai for foreigners and 10 baht from locals. If you think that charging 4 times from foreigners is bad, then Sri Lanka's charge of 42 times or more (when locals are admitted free) must be something else. Defending something blatantly unjust, unethical and obscene is plainly not right in any language.

Loch Lomond
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46. Re: High Rates

Great post agnostic.

This sums up the rip off practises that are taking place in SL. Tourists are only mugs for so long and SL is only now opening up again. When word starts spreading about this it will create lots of bad publicity. It could be very damaging.

I have been twice to Sri Lanka and I really like the place but when I was there last year the scams, overcharging and general exploitation of tourists really soured me. I felt like I was being mugged! I doubt that I will ever be back and this is the only reason.

Here's another thread I started about this.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297896-i9471-k4…

Edited: 20 December 2012, 12:32
Fredericia, Denmark
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47. Re: High Rates

According to official calendars 1st January is not a public holiday.

pubad.gov.lk/web/…bank_holidays-2013.pdf

Thailand is worst country I have been to regarding overcharging tourists. There are 3 prices for everything. 1 for locals, 1 for foreigner that know the system and 1 for tourists.

All sites in CT use the same exchange rate. Sigiriya was never LKR 4,200 - maximum LKR 3,900. Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa LKR 3,250.

Hans

Loch Lomond
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48. Re: High Rates

Never been to Thailand but I know several people who have and according to them there is no major problem with this.

Hans, I understand that you love Sri Lanka and so do many people but this is Tripadvisor. We have to tell it like it is and my experience (a total of about 35 days as a tourist in Sri Lanka) is that I have never been in a place where tourists are treated with such contempt in this respect. I have also never been in a place where the authorities and the police seem to condone obvious scamming of tourists.

It looks like they just don't get it. The majority of we tourists, particularly those who choose to visit places like SL, are not stupid.

New York City, New...
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49. Re: High Rates

Rats abound in Manhattan subways and parks, There are more rats than people in NYC.

Rats in my room in Sarawak and Sumatra - but, interestingly, not in 6 months in India. These are only places I've seen them in more than 50 countries, primarily in the developing world.

First going to SL next week - but I have to admit, I've picked up a very odd vibe and already encountered problems and attitudes that I've never had anywhere else.

Loch Lomond
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50. Re: High Rates

Taureg, you will enjoy it. It is a very interesting place and most of the people are great. It just has a higher number of scammers than any other place I have visited. Keep your wits about you because some of them are good at it. It's their job!