Tourism Prospects

Cheap tofranil reviews ……Fonseka said government and industry should promote focused events such as surfing contests in Arugam Bay…….

Lanka Business online

Lanka Business online

Nov 17, 2009 (LBO) – Post-war Sri Lanka has an opportunity to generate employment quickly by developing tourism to ensure employment for youth especially in conflict-affected areas, a new report said.

The study by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it was important to initiate efforts that would have a “tangible impact’ on target communities in conflict affected areas in the short run while contributing to long-term tourism development.

Building new hotels is a more long-term venture whose benefits in terms of employment and income generation would take several years to be felt by the affected communities, it said.

The study was part of a USAID effort through its CORE (Connecting Regional Economies) project to examine six industry sectors to identify growth opportunities in the east for the private sector.

The other sectors were dairy, horticulture, fisheries, aquaculture and logistics.

Sarasali Fonseka, private sector/policy advisor at USAID, said the usual post-conflict trend is for domestic and adventure tourism to take off first.

“The government should fast track domestic and adventure tourism,” she told a seminar by the agency to disseminate the study’s recommendations to key stakeholders in the government, private sector, and other industries.

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has set a target of 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016, requiring the development of at least 15,000 new hotel rooms and major investment in large-scale resorts at new locations.

The Eastern coast in particular has the potential to absorb many new investments with the right mix of tourism products and development planning,” the report said.

The government has earmarked the east coast as one area for tourism development as it has some of the island’s best beaches.

The east and north of the island were the worst affected by the 30-year ethnic war which ended in May when government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists.

Fonseka said government and industry should promote focused events such as surfing contests in Arugam Bay, Buy prograf toxicity a beach well-known for surfing on the east coast, and the literary festival in southern Galle.

They should also focus on development of small and medium enterprises as that would give employment and income generation opportunities for people in conflict-affected areas.

“The aim is to create entrepreneurship. It is important for the bigger firms to work with people there and to get the communities involved. That type of work needs to start now.”

The USAID study also suggested the SME sector be encouraged to develop tourist attractions and activities like water sports, guided tours, adventure hikes and cultural tours.

“Larger lodging enterprises and tour companies need to encourage and support these smaller SME managed attractions because they add life and variety to the destination and help attract more visitors in future.”

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