Arugam Bay Tourist Zone

Hospitality Boom
27 February 2006 14:34:36

The Sri Lankan government has begun work on new tourism zones

Feb 27 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government has begun work on new tourism zones, acquiring land for development so that it can be rolled out for investors by May this year.

The first few zones will come up in Hambantota, Kalpitiya, Arugam Bay in the East and Trincomalee and will be dedicated areas for tourism development.

“We have found a 150 acre plot of land for proposed new tourism zone in Arugam Bay,” Dr. Prathap Ramanujam, Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism told LBO.

Land has also been found for the proposed tourism zone in Kalpitiya, with negotiations ongoing to acquire land in the Hambantota area.

The government plans to upgrade surfing as well as accommodation facilities in Arugam Bay with plans for an up-market tourism resort in Kalpitiya.

The Ocean City Development project in Trincomalee to increase the number of hotel rooms on the islandA?a??E?s east coast, will also come under the new tourism zone project.

This project on a 933 acre stretch of land, is to start by March this year, with Rs. 100 million in Treasury funding, Ramanujam said.

Meanwhile, the government will also be launching a Tourism Resources Improvement Project (TRIP) in March, with US$ 30,000 in Japanese funding.

The project will improve basic infrastructure in Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Sigiriya and Negombo, to attract tourists and boost visitor numbers.

An agreement with the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and the

Sri Lankan government is to be signed this week.

Tourist arrivals to the island last year reached 550,000, a three percent drop on the year before, while earnings plunged 20.7 percent to bring in US$ 327.6 million, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said.

-Jayantha Kovilagodage:

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