Business Times

Hotel boom attracts US$1.1 mln investment

Sri Lanka Tourism is currently generating investment worth US$1,142 million for the construction of 122 hotels islandwide. This figure has been steadily climbing with May recording investments worth US$1,096.16 million for 110 hotel projects.

Data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority states that as of June 30 there are 122 total projects in the pipeline for hotels with rooms numbering 7,378. Galle is projected with the highest number of hotels at present with 17 projects on hand closely followed by Batticaloa and Colombo with 16 each.

With Jaffna opening up there are currently only five projects in the pipeline with 187 rooms worth US$15.94 million. Hambantota another key district is attracting eight hotels to be constructed with 246 rooms worth US$43.43 million.

The large projects amounting to 13 comprise nine, 5-star hotels and convention centres in the range of US$20 – 350 million. One 4-star hotel with 300 rooms is in the pipeline worth US$40 million. Two, 3-star hotels worth US$30 million and the other a city hotel costs US$33.75 million with the latter having 240 rooms while the former comprises of 30.

The total investment in these large projects amount to US$726.28 million. An interesting feature among these projects is the hyper mall in the pipeline for a shopping complex worth US$35.5 million. Sri Lanka is currently targeting the establishment of 1250 rooms by the end of this year while the targets for the next three years are 5800 in 2012, 7150 by 2013 and 2300 by 2014 with an additional 6000 more rooms to be built on private land through the home stays.

Authorities note that in order to cater to 2.5 million tourists by 2016 approximately 40,000 rooms are required but since the sector is mainly private sector driven there should be over US$2 billion worth of investment to create all the rooms required.

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