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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.

singapore
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199 posts
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81. Re: High Rates

I am staying at modest guesthouse "& paying US 110/ nite.. ie abt 15000 SLR/ nite whilst my friend in lanka says her 2 br house in kandy rent is only 2000SLR/ nite.

As asian, i am ashamed that large amts are collected but not much is spent on improving infrastructure or uplift poverty & so people in 3rd world countries think touristz are rich & rip off atrociously. i don't mind paying more given the poverty & desperation,but when we claim to b more religious/ righteous let us earn honest money, don't cheat rampantly n fleece tourists! in india the airport toilet in bangalore was pitch dark, v dirty & smelly & the cleaner asked me for $.i gave her & told her in her own language that she should try to clean the toilet. also ripped off by tuk tuk drivers in bangkok & taxi drivers in KL... we have to realise tat continuing to cheat so blatantly puts tourists off & i chose b& b in lanka bec hotels were $300/nite & reviews were horrible.same cheating in manila & china iexperienced. as asian, feel ashamed. i expect to b cheated in lanka & the

forum warnings serve gd reminder to b vigilant. lthanks

London, United...
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6 posts
13 reviews
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82. Re: High Rates

Lankan_xxxx - You need to view matters with an open mind. I doubt anyone contributing here has a vendetta against SL or its Tourism. They are merely expressing their opinion in comparative terms. A sane and sensible person or an Authority will always take all opinions seriously and try to investigate and address the alleged shortcomings. That's the only way forward. Truth is sometimes bitter. If on the other hand if one were to reject and discard everything said that's not sweet about what one cares, that's being blatantly pig headed. I for one know Thailand very well and can only envy their competitiveness in pricing in hotels, meals and almost everything. In Sri Lanka, I am ashamed to say that it's like looking for an extinct species.

singapore
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199 posts
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83. Re: High Rates

I have been to thailand and have been cheated too several times, However, it is very wrong for to say it is all about prostituition, so that is why it is cheap.We are a family and shopped, ate etc in thailand. Sri Lankan stuff just too costly... my B&B is a converted house..& it alone costs about 15,000 SL rupee/nite..

Can't blame people entirely for trying to con toursists if authorities don't take feedback & use tourist money to uplift lives..Tourists don't mind helping the economy but we also sweat & earn our money which is just enough for us to pay for stuff in our country. Please take feedback & improve the country if you really value yr land.. It has lots of potential

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Maldives
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11,468 posts
81 reviews
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84. Re: High Rates

a bit of a contrast here:

srilankaembassyrome.org/en/component/content…

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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53,083 posts
191 reviews
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85. Re: High Rates

Well yes but even the local business forums now accept it's quite overpriced...

www.lankabusinessonline.com/fullstory.php…

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Kalutara, Ahungalla
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5,463 posts
9 reviews
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86. Re: High Rates

Erik...

A little inside info to back up that story on LBO, today i had a conversation with a good friend in the hotel trade down there in SL, he has told me that preditcions for hotel occupancies in coming year will be VERY low, even worse than they were in November/December last year in supposed peak season times.

This is for both Colombo hotels, and beach resorts also, some have already, and others will follow in cutting rates, with some even bringing back All Inclusive to try to stem the rot..

When the current influx of visitors from Eastern Europe, Russia ect have returned home, some hotels will have less than 40% occupancy..

Regards

Dave

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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73 posts
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87. Re: High Rates

I do not understand this. Hotel bottom lines are up. What matter is bottom line.

2 city hotels upto now release there financial at Colombo Stock exchange.

it is up to you Decide on the facts.

i do not see rational of reducing rates in Sri lanka

cse.lk/cmt/…690_1359457575.pdf

cse.lk/cmt/…606_1359541610167.pdf

Loch Lomond
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2,944 posts
167 reviews
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88. Re: High Rates

I may be mistaken but a quick look suggests that you need to learn how to read a balance sheet and to look at the bigger picture.

It may be up to us to decide the facts but it is also up to us (tourists) to decide where to visit. After two years in Sri Lanka I'm off to Thailand and I probably won't ever be back,

What you may underestimate is the value of word of mouth. Every tourist who comes back from Sri Lanka with horror stories about hotel charges, rip offs and scams does untold damage to your industry. Sri Lanka has massive potential as a tourist destination but you need to work on sorting these things out.

Edited: 10 February 2013, 10:08
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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73 posts
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89. Re: High Rates

First Every one must understand Sri Lanka is not Thailand. Sri lanka do not want to be a Thailand. Sri lanka is a small country with with set of own history, Culture, Nature and Wildlife.

Loch Lomond
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167 reviews
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90. Re: High Rates

Really? Amazing what you learn here.