Do Tourists Get ‘Ripped Off’ in Sri Lanka?

Today, I wrote to Sri Lanka Tourism about taxi fares in Sri Lanka:

“About 40 UK visitors attended my daughter’s wedding in Sri Lanka last week. Almost all of them made adverse comments about

Beach at Bentota

how much the taxi drivers demand from foreign visitors even for short journeys.They all wanted me to book transfers to the airport etc. for them and the actual cost was about half what they have been asked to pay.The impression created is unfavourable and not in the interest of Sri Lanka tourism.

It would be great if a fixed price per km is established and imposed, say Rs.40/km, and tourist hotels made sure they book taxis that comply.”


Thank you for your comment about the rates charged by taxi drivers booked through Bentota Beach Hotel. I trust you have taken this matter up with the hotel concerned.
Coincidentally, the actual rates charged by approved Bentota taxis are listed on page 225 of the current edition of my Bradt Travel Guide to Sri Lanka, giving Rs7,000 for a drop to the airport by van.
However, if there is an extraordinary demand for taxis they might collaborate to demand more. And if the taxis are booked through a hotel, the hotel may add a service charge too.
I hope that you get a response from Sri Lankan Tourism.
In the meantime, I have added your name as a subscriber to my weekly newsletter about Sri Lanka to keep you uptodate.
Thank you for letting me know about your experience.
Best wishes

(Read the excellent Royston Ellis blog Bernard Dias)
(Sri Lanka Tourism’s silence is deafening! – Dr. Bernard Dias)

“No.. there is nothing like that.. Sri Lanka is a friendly country.. The country with smiling people… ” – (Sri Lanka Holidays)

(Indeed a friendly country with many smiling faces despite some myopics in the travel trade who will kill the goose that lays the golden egg. – Dr. Bernard Dias)

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