The number of tourist accommodation rooms grew by 1,521 (4.14%) to 38,214 and their corresponding establishments by 97 (4.38%) to 2,312, in the fourth quarter over the third quarter of last year, the latest official data showed.
These tourist accommodation units include star class hotels, unclassified or no star hotels, guesthouses, bungalows, home stay units and the like.
Unclassified or the no star hotel category saw their numbers increase by 12 units (5.24%) to 241 while the growth in the star class hotel category was subdued, growing by seven units (5.08%) to 145. Meanwhile, the unclassified hotel category increased its room strength by 700 units (7.18%) to 10,456 while the star class hotel category added on 329 new hotel rooms, an increase of 2.52% to 13,408. Home stay units saw their numbers grow by 27 (6.51%) to 442 and their corresponding rooms by 78 (6.20%) to 1,337. Guesthouses saw their numbers grow by 22 (2.41%) to 936 and their guest rooms by 265 (2.66%) to 10,218. The number of boutique hotels increased by two to 31 and their room capacity by 54 (9.41%) to 628.
Star class hotels are those in the one to five star hotel categories.
The number of five star hotels, increased by one to 23, adding 200 new five star hotel rooms, thereby taking the stock of five star hotel rooms to 5,150 while four star hotel units however stagnated at 21 and their room inventory actually fell by 67 (2.83%) to 2,302.
However, the number of three star hotels increased by one to 24 and its room inventory by 52 (2.2%) to 2,416 while the two star hotel category increased its capacity by three hotel units to 38 and the number of rooms by 108 (6.43%) to 1,788 and one star hotels, by two to 39 and their room stock by 36 (2.10%) to 1,752.
Tourism is Sri Lanka’s third largest foreign exchange earner.