5 Star hotel room rates in Colombo
highest at $ 105; Galadari, Continental
lowest at $ 65
The onus of charging the "minimum
highest" hotel city room rate falls on
Colombo Hilton in a move that comes into
effect next year to prevent under-cutting
Colombo Hilton, categorized as a five star hotel
will have to sell their rooms at US$ 105 net
of taxes and other charges for a day in this
industry driven initiative. It comes under
the first rate band under this category.
This hotel until a few months ago had been
selling their rooms at between $ 60-70, it
has been reported.
Meanwhile, the five star John Keells Holdings (JKH)
controlled 500 room Cinnamon Grand Hotel
which comes second under this grading system
(because it does not belong to an
international chain of hotels unlike Hilton)
will have to charge a minimum room rate of $
90 net of taxes and other charges under this
In the third band comesTaj Samudra and the other
JKH controlled city hotel, Trans Asia, which
will have to charge minimum room rates of $
75 each. Both Taj and Trans Asia Hotel also
come under the five star category.
Trans Asia currently charges $ 65 for a room,
inclusive of breakfast and enjoys a 70%
occupancy. Its General Manager Neroy Marso
told The Sunday Leader that it was expected
to enjoy a 100% occupancy in the first half
of next month coinciding with the English
City hotels, in good times and bad, mainly cater
to the corporate clientele and therefore
generally enjoy fairly good occupancy rates,
"What we are missing out however is the
leisure traveller, who, on his way to the
resort, stops in at a city hotel, and, when
leaving the country, again checks in at a
city hotel before taking his flight back
home," Marso said.
And as our clientele is mainly the corporate
sector, the hotel starts emptying itself
after December 15, with this sector going
back to their homes overseas for the
Christmas vacation, and those numbers once
again picking up from January.
He said that their topline was flat, ie, in the
six month period ending September 30, 2007,
when compared with the corresponding period
the previous year. Trans Asia, in order to
make the numbers, until recently were
selling their rooms at a discounted price of
$ 55 to locals.
Meanwhile, under this new minimum room rate
system, the last of the two five star hotels
in the city, namely Ceylon Continental and
Galadari Hotel will have to charge a minimum
room rate of $ 65 from next year.
Hotel sources said that the second tier hotels in
the city, such as Galle Face Hotel, Holiday
Inn, Renuka and Sapphire too have minimum
rates fixed under this scheme, which,
however are lower than what have been
prescribed for the five star categories.
supermarket chain enjoys double digit growth
John Keells Holdings' (JKH') supermarket
operations which has been experiencing
double digit growth in both their topline
and in their bottomline in the six months
ended September 30, 2007 when compared with
the corresponding period the previous year,
plans to add four more supermarkets next
"We shall be opening these outlets at
Kurunegala, Pepiliyana, Mahabage and
Attidiya," JKH Assistant Vice President
and Head of Human Resources-Retail Sector
Nilush Cooray told reporters on Thursday.
"In fact Kurunegala will be our first outlet
outside the Western Province," he said.
The company currently operates a chain of 28
supermarkets, providing employment to 1,365
persons. The company targets to have a total
of 50 supermarkets by the end of next year.
Nielsen, a market research company, in a recently
released report said that 14% of grocery
sales in Sri Lanka were derived from
supermarkets last year, up 1% over the 13%
Traditional groceries still have a huge 86% chunk
of the market.
Nielsen however said that traditional grocery
outlets declined by 2.47% to 102,382 last
year (over 2005), while the number of
supermarkets in operation in the period
under review increased by 10.4% to 360.
The report identified Cargills, Keells, LAUGFS,
Kings Super, Lak Sathosa, Arpico and
Phulyaya as supermarkets.
It further said that in 2006, the number of
Cargills outlets increased by nine (over
2005 figures) to 94, Keells-from 15 to 21,
LAUGFS-from eight to nine, Kings Super from
six to 10, Lak Sathosa from five to 28,
Arpico from four to six and Phulyaya from
three to four.
Cooray said that an employee in their supermarket
could earn upto a maximum of Rs. 9,000 a
month. That includes a basic salary of Rs.
5,000; allowances of Rs. 2,000 and a sales
bonus of Rs. 2,000.
The company on Thursday tied-up with the
government run vocational training institute
NAITA to train youth between 17-23 years to
be salesmen and women in the supermarket
industry. The programme includes an 100
hours learning programme in English.
"We have found that English is essential for
this type of business," Cooray said.
"And not only that, there is a
huge demand for supermarket salesmen
overseas, therefore this qualification will
help our youth to find jobs overseas,"
pass rate linked to poor English
The development of the business process
outsourcing (BPO) industry has created a
demand for accountants, John Keells Holdings
PLC (JKH) Group Financial Controller M.J.S.
Rajakariar told reporters on Wednesday.
He said that JKH which operates a BPO centre in
India, plans to launch a similar centre in
Opening of such BPO centres mean that accounts of
a company in the USA may be sent to Colombo
for processing because of the relatively
cheaper labour available here.
Companies such as Amba Research and WNS are some
of the more famous BPO operations here,
catering to the accounting needs of clients
in First World countries.
It was the advent of the internet that spurred
the BPO industry."But a chief drawback
in churning out an adequate supply of
accountants to meet the demand is the
inadequate knowledge of English by students
here," Institute of Chartered
Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) President
Yohan Perera said.
To address this problem, ICASL has started an
"English lab," he said. ICASL
allows students to sit the first two papers
in the vernacular, but the final two papers
followed by the "case study" have
to be done in English.
As a result of the poor knowledge of English, the
pass rate at the finals were a low 30-35%,
with around 1,000 students sitting for the
ICASL finals annually."But at the case
study level, after passing the two final
papers, the pass rate is a high 80%,"
said Perera. Around 250 students pass out
annually as accountants after successfully
getting through the final hurdle, the case
Colombo's hub status
MCC Transport, a common carrier container feeder
company is to start its maiden service in
the South Asia region, said a statement.
With a volume of five million twenty foot
equivalent units of containers (teus)
expected to be handled in 2007, MCC would be
the world's 2nd largest feeder company
growing at a fast pace. In keeping with
their growth strategy they have entered into
South Asia region with Colombo as the hub.
MCC Transport is fully owned and
backed by the strengths of A.P. Moller Group
and caters to multitude of connections for
its customers in various hubs.
service termed "BAN3' on a weekly fixed
day basis will cover Colombo-Chittagong
sector which has seen tremendous growth in
volume in recent times. The inaugural call
is due in Colombo on Wednesday.
MCC had hitherto been active in South East Asia,
connecting Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia,
Philippines, Thailand and more recently
China with the hub ports in Malaysia,
Singapore, Kaohsuing and Hong Kong.MCC
Transport is represented in Sri Lanka by
Maersk Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.
The latest US airport to consult with Israel on
security policies and procedures is Denver
which is conducting an operations review in
anticipation of rapid growth. Denver has
issued more than $1 billion in bonds to fund
expansion projects through 2013, including
the addition and reconfiguration of security
lanes. In Israel, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs)
equipped with weapons and cameras have begun
to assist jeep-mounted security personnel in
their patrols of the perimeter fence at Ben-Gurion,
(Washington Aviation Summary)