Political instability and worsening economic crisis hit hotels sector hard!


  • Hotel occupancy down to 5% with very low tourist arrivals
  • Over 90% of biz from locals lost due to increasing economic challenges
  • THASL asserts need for urgent political stability
  • Says will not give up promoting destination Sri Lanka

By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
The hotel sector in the country has lost the bulk of its business in a matter of days due to the irrational decision-making of the authorities.

The Hotels’ Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) said the situation for the tourism sector has taken a worse turn, making it increasingly difficult to attract international tourists.

“The need of the hour is political stability. We cannot move forward without that. We are slapped with curfew after curfew, and we have travel advisories against the country. These are detrimental. We (hotels) have lost a lot of business,” THASL President M. Shanthikumar told Mirror Business.

While business for the tourism sector was already low due to the ongoing economic crisis in the country, occupancy in hotels has plunged to about five percent as tourist arrivals to the country are at the lowest levels. Business from locals has also dropped significantly, by about 90 percent, Shanthikumar said.

He went on to share that it is becoming difficult to attract locals to hotels and restaurants due to two factors—the severe shortage of fuel which has brought the country to a standstill, and the fast diminishing purchasing power of customers due to the crumbling rupee value and high cost of living.

“We can’t go on like this. We have no government. It is a top priority to bring in political stability. We the private sector are managing to keep the sector going and looking into the needs of the tourists who are already here, but we won’t be able to attract more visitors. This is hurting the industry very badly,” said THASL chief.

Since last week, Sri Lanka has received no new bookings from international visitors which indicates the industry will not be able to recover as much as expected. However, according to feedback received from THASL members, the booking already made has not been canceled.

“This is good. We have not got new bookings, but the ones made are still in place. So, there is hope. We the private sector will not give up promoting the destination Sri Lanka. But, we need political stability,” stressed Shanthikumar.

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