Friday, August 24, 2012

Where do Sri Lankans go on holiday?

This is a question that was posed to me by a Sri Lankan friend who now lives overseas. She was visiting Sri Lanka and was going to travel around the country. She was quite shocked by the prices that hotels and bungalows were quoting. Surely ordinary Sri Lankans could not afford to spend so much?

I have just spent the morning on the web and the telephone trying to track down a reasonable place but with almost no success. At one time a renting a bungalow and taking ones provisions along was a a cheap option. Although it is still affordable it is no longer cheap.

The rate for the Thotalagala bungalow that I stayed in about eleven years ago has jumped from Rs.8000 per night (for the whole bungalow) to Rs.30,000 a night. At that time Thotalagala was the most expensive bungalow by far, now if one can find one for Rs.10,000 a night one has to be very lucky. A cheap bungalow that I stayed in twelve years ago at Rs.2000 for the whole bungalow was being rented at Rs.8000 a couple of years back. It is now withdrawn from public bookings, reserved for the chairman of the JEDB.

The other consideration now is the cost of petrol which can add a good 10,000-15,000 to the total trip, per vehicle.

So where DO Sri Lankan go for on an affordable holiday?


Rakhitha said...

I think this is to be expected after war ended. All holiday options went up.

I remember having this discussion with a europian friend. According to him when they travel for holidays within their own country they mostly stay with a friend or a relative. We might will have to do that if things get little more expensive.

Hotels are still inexpensive with various discounts during the off-season. But I don't know how long that going to last.

Ooorumiya said...

why,of course we Sri Lankan do go on holidays..we do that all the time..just that we take every frigging day as a holiday..therefore, there is no real reason to 'go' on a holiday as the Suddha do..
but if you ask me.many regular people do take to the road but since the sky rocketing cost of fuel ,they tend to use the SriLankan AirTaxi and take to the waterways..(to take off/land that is)
and for lodging ..they normally stay in a star class resort owned by the Medamulana clan..all you need to do is to get a letter from your nearest Rajapaksha,and you end up with a hefty discount.
do try this next time your back home and enjoy the Moll Miracle.

shammi said...

Haven't been able to get away in ages, but we usually avoid long weekends and public holidays, when it's not crowded with Colombo people and one can negotiate rates and get much better service.
Often we would take a train down South. Paradise Beach Club in Mirissa is a favourite of mine.

There are reasonably priced small places if you're not too fussy about luxuries. But most places now have at least hot water and a/c. We dont notice how prices creep up here but people who come from abroad do.

I was doing the same as you this morning for a friend. Found a lovely bungalow in Tissa in the process called "My Village". A couple of nights there combined with a few nights in the Galle fort would make a nice holiday. Fort Bliss looks lovely. One could take the highway out and return via Udawalawe/Ratnapura or even N'Eliya and Kandy.

Another lovely, lovely place is "Landa" in Belihuloya. Very reasonable too.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for those tips Shammi.

I'm also planning to use the train more often.

pp said...

you can still get the jungle bungalows for about 10k a night. if you have a crowd, that's not too bad. there are some budget type places around if you're not fussy about frills.

if you're looking for a bungalow, try this - - USD 50 a night i thin, and sleeps 6.

also, this

Jack Point said...

Thanks a lot PP!

Cadence said...

Holidays don't come cheap like they used to anymore. Unless ur lucky to work for an establishment that has a company bungalow as an FOC perk and a generous fuel allowance. A 3 day trip to nuwaraeliya for 8-10 persons can rack up a grocery bill of anything between 20-30K discounting liquor. Again it depends on the group of people and what they like/dislike. I guess families with kids would feel it more if you were to holiday at a decent hotel.

Jack Point said...

Cadence, you are right. Even a holiday at place that was cheap at around 3800 a night, full board a head ended costing almost 5k a head, once we added in a few extras on the journey and tips to the staff.

sbarrkum said...

Out here in Eluvankulam, the average populace load up pots, pans lamps cart the whole lot, including extended family in a Tractor or Landmaster and camp out on the banks of the Kala Oya during the dry season.

Apparently some of the more wealthier, had this year brought in Flat Screen TV's and a generator. Not quite what I would think as blending with Nature.

Think of how the rednecks go on Vacation in the west, and you will find similar scaled versions out here in Sri Lanka. The average populace do go on lots of holidays, its just not to bed and breakfasts or bungalows.