Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director General Dr. D.S. Jayaweera said this kind of room capacity was required and would be achieved within the next two years in a bid to provide sufficient capacity for the 2.5 million visitors in 2016. He was ddressing the launch of the Hotel Show 2014 media conference on Wednesday.
He noted that last year the average spend per night per tourist was at US$156 that was a considerable increase from the 2012 figure of $103.
In this respect, Dr. Jayaweera pointed out that infrastructure and services had increased in cost.
As a result, he said the country was able to achieve $1.7 billion in earnings last year.
Meanwhile, the industry pointed out the need for a trained staff in going forward to cater to the increasing demand for a quality workforce.
Ceylon Hotel Schools Graduates Association (CHSGA) President Eksath Wijeratne said since manpower was crucial they were involved in assisting the satellite hotel schools around the country by even providing scholarships for discerning students.
He noted that the Hotel Show would aim at bringing together all stakeholders onto one platform at the fair scheduled to be held from June 13-15 this year.
Tourist Hotels Association President Jayantissa Kehelpannala noted that this show comprised two elements namely the training of staff with even overseas exposure; and the need to think smart and work differently in today’s challenging global environment.
He pointed out the need to train them to become “true professionals.”
During this year’s Hotel Show two events would be held alongside namely the Barista’s Championships – identifying how to make a good cup of tea or coffee, and the Fastest Pizza Maker competition recognising the pressure of the Quick Service Restaurant industry.
An international Hoteliers’ Conference would also be held in conjunction with the Hotel Show this year. This would be a forum for General Managers and owners of properties to exchange insight on topics such as Trends in Business Management with a focus on boutique hotels and villas, Resort Management and explore how to best attract tourists.
In addition, a student counter at the event would provide information on career prospects in the sector by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM).