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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.

newcastle upon tyne
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91. Re: High Rates

Sri Lanka was forecast by some people/newspapers to be an up & coming destination for 2013. The important thing is how many of these new tourists will return again in the future ?.

This year, and last Jan/Feb, I have chosen Thailand for my big holiday, & will be doing so in future, as its just a far more developed & comfortable holiday destination overall.

Vancouver, Canada
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92. Re: High Rates

I agree the main reason I am visiting Sri Lanka for the first and probably last time was because of $50usd flights on airasia from Malaysia. Now that air Asia pulled out the cost of travel has quadrupled. The next negative is the exhorbahant price of accommodations in Sri Lanka. The next negative is the ever increasing Eta fees. I'm not sure if Sri Lanka just wants rich or stupid people to visit, but I'm neither, so unless this country completely blows me away it will be a case of been there done that!

Fredericia, Denmark
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93. Re: High Rates

ETA fee has increased once.

Hans

Vancouver, Canada
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94. Re: High Rates

Well it was $0 then $20 2012 now $30 2013

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

Yes that too counts as 2 increases for me, for which we don't get ANYthing extra in terms of tourist infrastructure...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Massachusetts
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96. Re: High Rates

Mavrick_SB, your post is exactly what I wanted to say after 12 days in Sri Lanka. The price of accommodation seem ridiculous to me and there is no value of dollar there at all. People tends to like calling their properties "royal lodge" or "luxurious hotels" everywhere even when the hot water, AC does not work, or the toilet does not flush and the room is not even clean and still want to charge US$ 40-60 a night. And yes, I stayed at all the guesthouses/hotels that guidebooks and Tripadvisor highly recommended.

If there is any reason I want to come back to Sri Lanka, it will be for the people. Sri Lankan are extremely friendly and I feel warmly welcome, being treated like a family member everywhere I go. though the feeling lost a bit in Mirissa and I see the "money money" attitude here. Maybe because it's more popular for tourists.

It's just disappointments hotel after hotel and that was the main reason put our trip into nothing but uncomfortable feeling.

Loch Lomond
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97. Re: High Rates

['though the feeling lost a bit in Mirissa and I see the "money money" attitude here. Maybe because it's more popular for tourists. ']

That was the over riding impression I got in many places in Sri Lanka. My wife and I began to feel like prey being tracked by predators. :o(

Manchester, United...
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98. Re: High Rates

I have visited Sri Lanka on four different occasions and had some great holidays, its a beautiful country and the people in general have always been very friendly.

On our last visit two years ago it was noticeable to me how accomodation costs had increased and also the cost of food and drink seemed to be spiraling. I also had a feeling that as a tourist i was taken for granted and it was just expected that no matter what the price (entrance fees to attractions etc), i would cough up the money.

On leaving a couple of years ago i was reading a local newspaper that more or less said that now that the war was over they are looking forward to attracting "Richer tourists" and also mentioned a influx of American travellers. It was deemed that this would enable the tourist industry/hotels etc to charge what they wanted ,therefore pricing out the budget /backpacker tourist.

I am not privvy to what has happened over the last two years and maybe these expectations are now reality but since then i have visited Thailand (just returned) and let me tell you, thats a wonderful location and your money goes a long way. Accomodation and food plus the infastructure is all tourist friendly.

I came back on the forum today to look at returning to SL later in the year and spending 3 weeks in the country but i dont want to visit somewhere and feel that i am just a "money cow" to be exploited. If Sri Lanka is benefitting from loads of rich tourist then its master plan as worked, in the meantime people like myself will always find plenty of alternative locations. Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia looks very appealing and from what i am hearing they are welcoming ALL tourist with open arms !!

It seems to me that SL might be guilty of "killing the goose that laid the golden egg".

Sydney Australia
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99. Re: High Rates

I couldn't agree more with the last posters. We also had our cheapie Air Asia flights cancelled (not the first time) and have had to rebook on Tiger, ex Singapore (and a overnight hotel room cost-- ouchy!!). But I have always wanted to visit SL so this did not put me off. What has given me the poops is the outrageous hotel costs. We probably will only visit there once preferring to travel back to Vietnam Cambodia and Thailand where your money goes a lot further. Yep looks like they have cooked the golden goose. They won't be ripping off this little black duck!!

100. Re: High Rates

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