Sri Lanka Tourism today needs the government to provide necessary concessions to entice super brands to enter the market, an industry expert asserted last week.
The government needs to entice Shangri-La with concessions as it is beneficial for the industry, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements-Managing Director Malin Hapugoda told the Business Times, adding that he finds nothing wrong in this.
He noted that these super brands need to enter the market in a bid to lure the high yield customers. Aitken Spence has also enticed Six Senses to open up hotels in the country.
In this respect, the tourism industry is consciously looking at building up the brand image and portraying Sri Lanka for what it truly is, he said.
With Sri Lanka unable to play the numbers game like Thailand, Mr. Hapugoda observed that "we have to increase numbers to manageable levels and high yield guest component need to be 40% of total tourist portfolio."
He explained that when the Taj Samudra was established the government at the time granted concessions with prime land made available at relatively very low rates compared to what Shangri-La is given today.
Similarly, Hilton, Intercontinental and Oberoi were provided with concessions in a bid to ensure they set up their hotels in Colombo, he said.