Security concerns hold back foreign traveller to the East

How much is carafate without insurance By Dilrukshi Fernando

The tourism industry is expected to thrive on a targeted paltry figure of around 1000 domestic tourists in an effort to boost travel to the East within the next quarter, a top government official told the Daily Financial Times yesterday.

The expected number is relatively low due to security concerns which is a factor preventing domestic tourists from touring the area, the official added.

A?a??A?The Ministry of Tourism hopes to engage in large scale infrastructure development and transportation to ensure a growth,A?a??A? the official said. The reason for targeting domestic tourists is a stratagem adopted by the Ministry of Tourism and the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) through which they hope to reach the international market, the official pointed out.

With emphasis on the Eastern Province, a decline in tourist arrivals has been recorded in the Southern District. However the figures show a growth of 8.6% when compared with 2007 according to Tourism Ministry Secretary George Michael. A?a??A?Last year the number of tourist arrivals for March stand at 35,031 while this year it is 38, 049,A?a??A? he pointed out adding that the existing travel advisories and the prevalent security situation in Colombo might be discouraging factors. A?a??A?The industry has made plans to have round table discussions regarding this matter and we hope to meet in Hambantota in June to hold discussion with officials from the hotel trade, representatives from the Chambers of Commerce and Small and Medium Enterprise officials,A?a??A? he added.

In the meantime the transportation sector is to be developed by enabling railway facilities for domestic tourists at Arugam Bay according to Deputy Minister for Tourism, Faizer Musthapha. His comments came at the monthly discussion on tourism held at the Ministry yesterday. A?a??A?The ministry plans to work closely with the Provincial Council which plans to fund certain projects of the Tourism Ministry and SLTB. Finances will also be directed from donor funds.

The tourist police will be deployed in the resorts to ensure the safety of the tourists. A comprehensive website including information of the Arugam bay tourism prospects can be located at Generic for maxalt .

Meanwhile, in a technologically advanced initiative a web cam project will be initiated to monitor the wave pattern of the Arugam Bay which is considered one of the top ten surfing destinations in the world. A?a??A?Through this project, surfing enthusiasts all over the world can access the facility on the internet and tour the island for the much loved sport,A?a??A? Musthapha added. Plans also are underway to bring back the international surfing competition currently held in the Maldives back to Sri Lanka.

Steps will also be taken to work closely with the fishing community in the area and ensure that they are provided with basic toilet facilities. A hotel school will also be set up in the areas of Uppuweli and Arugam Bay on government property. A?a??A?This is part of the long term programmes while short term plans include training and skills development of youth whose employment in the Middle East will be ensured,A?a??A? Roy Jayasinghe said. A programme to launch a tourist guide training programme and a A?a??E?Home StayA?a??a?? programme where housewives will be trained on how to entertain guests will also be part of the steps to be taken to boost the Eastern Tourism industry.


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