John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) Chairman, Susantha Ratnayake said he welcomed certain initiatives to market Sri Lanka as a destination and further opined that the overall prospects for tourism in the country remain promising.
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) recently concluded its second mega joint promotional campaign, ‘Get Sri Lankaned’, in Mumbai.
The campaign, which was aimed at showcasing Sri Lanka as a tourist destination for Indians, was first held in Bangalore earlier this year.
Having identified India, Japan, China, Korea and Russia as emerging markets, the SLTPB executed a new series of promotional activities incorporating the new strategies of the government to expand the tourism industry locally.
‘Get Sri Lankaned’ was the first-ever joint promotional campaign launched under the aforesaid new promotional activities. “Revenues of Sri Lankan resorts increased during the year, driven by an increase in average room rates, although occupancies were below expectations as witnessed across the industry,” Ratnayake said in his review to the JKH annual report 2012/13.
He went on to state that Maldivian Resorts experienced growth on the back of improved occupancies and stable average room rates.
The Leisure arm of JKH achieved revenues of Rs.20.59 billion and profit after tax (PAT) of Rs.4.77 billion, contributing 22 percent and 35 percent to Group revenue and PAT respectively.
“With a PAT growth of 29 percent in 2012/13, Leisure maintained its position as the largest contributor to Group PAT,” the Chairman noted.
Tourist arrivals into Sri Lanka grew by 17 percent, surpassing one million arrivals for the calendar year 2012. In terms of the composition of arrivals, Western Europe and South Asia continued to be the dominant revenue generating markets.
The growth rate in arrivals from South Asia slowed down, while the newly emerging tourism markets of Eastern Europe and East Asia demonstrated significant growth momentum.