The Government has instructed the hotel industry in the ‘five-star’ sector to increase its room rent to US$ 125 from the present US$ 100 and if it is sold at a lesser rate then a tax of US$ 20 would be imposed on each bed.
According to a gazette notification revised rates for all star-class hotels will come into effect from April 1 and will apply only to hotels in the City.
Shanthi Kumar, with the City Hotels Association welcomed the new rates saying it was needed because there was an increase in demand for more rooms as the arrivals of foreign visitors had nearly doubled with the end of the war.
“At present Sri Lanka offers the cheapest rates in the world and therefore this increase will not affect the trade in any way. The increase in the rates is safe and was needed in order to prop up the industry”, Mr. Kumar added.
The other increases would be US $ 95 from US$ 85 for a four star room, US$ 75 from US$ 70 for a three star, US$ 60 from US$ 55 for a two star and US$ 45 from US$ 40 for a single star room.
According to Mr. Kumar the new rates will apply only to the hotels operating in the City and will be extended elsewhere at a further date.
An official with the Ceylon Tourist Board told the Sunday Times that the revision was done according to a request made by the industry.
He explained that the move was safe and the authorities did not expect a set-back to the industry in any manner.
During the first two months of this year more than 140,000 foreign visitors entered the country, up by 30 per cent when compared with the figures of last year during this same period, he said.