Arugambe lacks tourists due to the prevailing security situation in the Eastern Province

Tourists Hotel owners in Arugambe say that their hotels lack full occupancy due to the prevailing security situation in the eastern province.

At present some hotels which have established personnel connections with the overseas agencies could achieve 50 percent occupancy level , but said they have already reduced their workforce due to the present financial constraints.

Dr.Fred Miller , owner of the Siam View Hotel , Arugambe said he has Australian contacts to increase occupancy level of his hotel. However he proposed that the government should take measures to strengthen peace to end problems in Sri Lanka.

Dr.Miller said he started his hotel business in 1977 and now manages a star class hotel specially for surfers. He said around 60 percent of the hotels in the Arugambe area have been closed due to low or no occupancy.

A number of hotel owners also face financial constraints and tourists related self employers also were affected due to this problem.

Speaking to the media, they said that they lost their entire livelihood and now moving into other businesses.

Arugambe was a tsunami affected area in the eastern Sri Lanka and the authorities still repair common infrastructure to rebuild the area.

Meanwhile another hotel owner said the government must take necessary measures to improve infrastructure and promote tourism. However a number of foreign nationals who met this correspondent said that they have fear about armed groups who roam in the eastern province.

We cannot tour important tourists destinations in the province and most of our friends have decided to visit Bali islands and some other Asian destinations.

Meanwhile local tourists said that they have more problems due to the newly implemented Police Vehicle Permit system. According to the Police officials all vehicle owners who wish to visit outside the Eastern Province must obtain a vehicle permit from the Police. However it will take some time, said a Police official who dislike agreeing with the new permit system.

All government owned vehicles have immunity, but Transport Board buses and other private vehicles must obtain these permits.

According to the business community of the province a number of lorry owners refused to transport goods into the Eastern province due to the Permit system.

The police and the other security officials regularly check these vehicles, loading and unloading, also incoming and outgoing goods by these vehicles. According to the Police officials Journalists who carry their digital cameras and Laptop computers must face police inspection and take separate permit from the Police to bring into Eastern province.

Dr. Miller

Dr. Miller, SVH

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