ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka has a billion dollars worth of approved hotels under construction and another 200 million dollars of projects which are yet to start building, the island's tourism authority said.
Between November 2010 and March 2018, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority had approved 2.9 billion US dollars of hotels. About 1.65 billion worth of hotels, with 8,932 rooms are already in operation.
The billion dollars of projects under construction will add another 7,261 rooms. Another 42 projects, worth 204 million dollars involving 1,798 rooms are yet to begin construction.
SLTDA said there were 36,133 registered rooms in use as of March 2018.
However, around one quarter of tourists visiting the country stay in unregistered accommodation, according to the SLTDA's last annual report, placing the country’s total room capacity at higher levels.
Two thirds of the SLTDA approved projects will have less than 49 rooms, while 22 projects or 7 percent of the total will be large hotels with more than 200 rooms.
The most number of new projects since 2010 have come up or are being built in the Galle district, with 54 projects adding 3,090 rooms.
However, larger hotels are coming up in Colombo, with 41 projects adding 5,308 rooms.
The third most popular destination for hoteliers was Hambantota, the home town of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was president of Sri Lanka from 2005 until 2015, and who had made efforts to turn Hambantota into an urban region.
Approval has been granted for 52 projects with 1,391 rooms in the Northern and Eastern Provinces where most of the fighting during the 25-year civil war took place.
Sri Lanka has experienced a tourism boom after the civil war ended in 2009.
Due to an increase in competition, larger hotel owners have been lobbying the government to increase protection against small accommodation providers. (Colombo/July10/2018)