Sri Lanka Frequent Questions | Red Dot Tours

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Frequent Questions

Why should we trust your company to arrange our holiday?

We offer independent, knowledgeable and efficient advice to devise the holiday that you need at a competitive price. Our flexible approach gives you the holiday you want and our Operations support and fair Booking Conditions protect you if things go wrong. Our caring approach has been highly praised by the overwhelming majority of our clients since we began in the early 2000s.

What is the best way to make contact about my holiday?

The sales and operations teams for our company are based in Colombo. This enables us to offer up-to-the-minute advice and highly-competitive prices, as well as supporting the local economy. We can deal effectively with enquiries from anywhere in the world. Whenever you need to discuss your holiday with a consultant, simply email or give us a call: IDD tel: +94 117 895810 Standard international rates apply. Ask for call-back.

Is the information that I provide to you safe?

Information provided in our payment centre is protected by the secure systems of Paysafe Group Limited. We have a strict and clearly-stated anti-fraud policy Booking Conditions, and we shred documents holding personal information. We advise you never to email us your credit card details. We will never spam you or pass on your information to any third party. We shall only send you occasional information, such as a free monthly emailed newsletter, and requests to be removed from this list will immediately be respected.

I’m looking for a low-season holiday to obtain the best prices. At what time of year can I find the best deals?

Consider late June and early July, perhaps using the East coast rather than the Deep South. October to early December offers good value for the West and South: the monsoon rains occur largely in the late afternoon and at night. Avoid Christmas, Easter and school summer holidays.

I don’t want a full tailor-made holiday. Are you flexible enough to help?

We value independently-minded customers. We believe that by buying flights, accommodation and transfers from us you receive many advantages. But we are happy to provide as little as a few nights of accommodation in your ideal villa. Just tell us what you need.

I am interested in one of your specialist tours, but I want to make changes. Is this possible?

Our company offers total flexibility and can respond to all requests to adjust itineraries. We will advise whether we believe the adjustments to be realistic. On occasions, these adjustments will involve a change in price. We do not levy a charge to tailor-make holidays.

When is my holiday actually confirmed?

Travel industry regulations state that you receive a Confirmation of Travel document once your holiday has been agreed and booked: this confirms your holiday. You will also receive other useful information. You should then arrange payment as laid down in our booking conditions (see next question). Until then, there is no contract between you and our company.

How can I pay for my holiday?
Payment Schedules:

Instant online bookings require full and immediate payment. It might also be necessary to request immediate payment in other circumstances, and in these cases you will be advised in advance. In the case of all other bookings, these schedules apply.
  • Upon receipt of Travel Voucher: 30 per cent of cost.
  • Not less than 30 days before departure: 100 per cent of cost.*
  • * Frequent fluctuations in the Sri Lankan government tax policy mean that applicable taxes can change suddenly without prior notice.

(i) Payments are required within seven days, except where circumstances dictate that we request otherwise.

(ii) Suppliers may demand stricter payment terms on some bookings. These occasions will always be advised to you before booking and stated on your Travel Voucher. Individual cancellation terms will always be stated.

(iii) Our prices include all applicable taxes.*
* Frequent fluctuations in the Sri Lankan government tax policy mean that applicable taxes can change suddenly without prior notice.

(iv) Late payments, at our discretion, have an administrative charge of $10 and risk cancellation.

Payment Methods:

We offer payment by credit or debit card or by bank transfer, with different accounts set up for GBP, Euro and USD transactions. For full details please see our Booking Conditions.

  • Customer should pay all bank charges for bank transfers. Failure to do so may lead to you being rebilled.
  • Customer should advice when bank transfer is sent.
  • Your name and Travel Voucher reference number must be included on bank transfer details. This will begin with the code UKAT, LKRD, or UKVI for villa bookings.
Can I drive my own car in Sri Lanka?

In common with other travel companies, we advise our clients not to undertake self-drive car hire unless they are highly experienced in driving conditions in this part of the world. However, we offer competitive self-drive car hire with a reputable company in specific circumstances.

If I book a car and driver, will I be hassled to make excursions or shopping trips?

Uniquely, our drivers are in possession of a strict Drivers’ Code, in which your safety and satisfaction are the priority. The driver knows your itinerary and is expected to follow it. How much he also acts as a guide depends upon your individual wishes. He may offer additional excursions or shopping visits, but will immediately respect your decision to say `no.’ We recommend that you contact our Colombo office if you have problems in this regard. Additional excursions may require an extra charge. Read the customer feedback for comments about our drivers.

How safe is Sri Lanka?

We retained enormous faith in holidays to Sri Lanka long before the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009. Since then, Sri Lanka tourism has prospered, but still offers wonderful value as well as infinite variety. Violent crime is extremely rare. Hygiene standards are good. Tourists are warmly welcomed.

What do you advise about money?

Local currency is Sri Lankan Rupees. Currency can only be exchanged in Sri Lanka, so you would be best to bring US Dollars, British Pounds or Euros. The bank booths in the airport arrivals hall offer the most competitive rates and quick service, as well as being the most convenient method for changing money. We advise against Traveller’s cheques, which are rarely accepted. Credit cards are accepted in most shopping outlets, and ATM machines are widely available in major cities.

Do I need a visa in Sri Lanka?

Since 1st January 2012, all travellers arriving in Sri Lanka must have a visa. Visitors must apply for the official Electronic Travel Authorisation via There is a small fee for the visa, and you must have at least six months left on your passport at time of travel to obtain one. Citizens from Singapore and The Maldives are exempt. For more information see the Visa section of our Booking Information.

What protection do I have if I have to cancel my holiday?

Our stated policy is to return all recoverable costs, above and beyond the minimum shown in our Booking Conditions. We respond as quickly and fairly as we can. We expect our customers to take their holiday bookings as seriously as we do, but we recognise that holidays are occasionally cancelled for valid reasons. Our Booking Conditions give full details. We operate under EC travel law.

Why have we not received any hotel vouchers? Is our booking confirmed?

We do not supply individual vouchers to customers before travel. Our operations team has booked the hotels as shown on your Confirmation of Travel Document. All necessary hotel vouchers will be sent directly to the hotels concerned, so showing the Confirmation of Travel Document and passport at check-in is all you need to do.

What if people need to contact me in an emergency when I’m in Sri Lanka?

We provide a contacts sheet with contact details for our team in Sri Lanka. We can also provide a list of hotel phone numbers on request. Leave contact numbers, plus a copy of your itinerary, with appropriate friends or relatives. Mobile phones operate in most areas and you can buy low-cost pay-as-you-go Sri Lankan SIM cards on arrival, or we can purchase these in advance on your behalf.

I have a medical condition that may need special assistance on the flight or during my stay. What should I do?

We recommend that you contact your doctor, at least a month before departure, and request that full details of your condition are provided in writing. We will then forward this information to the airline, ground agents, or hotels as appropriate.

When will my flight tickets arrive?

Our flight etickets are either ticketed by the airline or an agent. These may only arrive about 10 days before travel, especially in peak periods. They are emailed to you. If you require different arrangements, please give us as much notice as possible. If your email details change, please tell us!

Will we be met at the airport?

If you have booked airport transfers, you will be met by our ground agents at Bandaranaike International Airport. Our ground agents can be found holding a name card just outside the arrivals hall and we provide a mobile phone number for your driver a few days before your holiday. We can also organise a Silk Route service at the airport at an additional cost, where guests relax in a private lounge whilst airport staff fast-track and take care of all usual formalities. We do not arrange airport meet-and-greets in your own country, except in overriding circumstances.

Can I change my itinerary when I am in Sri Lanka?

Our Colombo office is willing to respond to requests for changes of hotel or a sudden change of itinerary. We recognise that new discoveries can bring the temptation for a change of plan. In some cases, however, it must be understood that such changes may prove impossible. Others will necessarily accrue a surcharge. Read your departure letter for contact numbers.

Can you recommend any shopping outlets?

Red Dot Tours provides information as part of a general service. But please note that we never officially recommend, or accept commission from, any Sri Lanka outlet and therefore cannot take any responsibility for the quality of goods sold. Any opinions expressed by Red Dot drivers are solely their own views and do not constitute company recommendations. If you make a purchase, you should be aware that you may face unexpected extra costs for tax, handling charges, customs, and delivery fees. In Australia, for example, fumigation certificates may also prove a problem.

Do all hotels have a liquor licence?

Some hotels have a complete liquor licence which covers the sale of all types of alcohol, whilst some have partial liquor licence which only permits the sale of beer and wine. There are also some hotels which do not have a licence at all. To find out more details about the liquor policy at the hotel(s) you will be staying at when you travel to Sri Lanka, please contact your travel consultant.

Please also read our Sri Lanka advice, Booking Conditions and Why Red Dot? Any further questions can be answered by e-mail. Last updated: 17/01/2018

Red Dot Tours Ltd is registered as a Ltd. Company at Companies House. Company No: 4007363. Directors: C.F. Austin, M. Cunat and D.A. De Zoysa. 06/12/18