Tourism sector received over US $ 100mn investments in last 9 months

Sri Lanka’s hard-hit tourism sector has received investments amounting to US $ 101 million in the last nine months, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, of which 22 projects worth of US $ 92 million have received the nod to kick off, Tourism Minister Pransanna Ranatunga said.
Ranatunga affirmed that efforts are underway to obtain the approval for the remaining 11 projects put forward this year, while steps have been taken to uplift the tourism infrastructure across the island to offer international visitors an improved experience in the island nation.
Addressing the Parliament session earlier this week, Ranatunga said destination Sri Lanka would also see the addition of three new active tourist zones, in addition to the existing 16, which would be gazetted in the near future.
Around 5,500 new tourist attractions across the island have been identified to generate interest among diverse groups of travellers and for the purpose of targeted development, the sites are classified at district level under nine areas, which are national heritage, religious, environmental, natural beauty, water resources, national parks, wildlife parks and beaches.
The identified new attractions have been further classified into three priority stages, where promotional plans are being conceptualised by a committee comprising experts in the tourism industry.
Ranatunga shared that some of the promotional efforts in the first phase include the preparation of video reports for 130 of the new sites. In the second phase, the new attractions will be advertised on a weekly basis across online platforms.
Commenting on the ‘five-point’ tourism plan already in place, Ranatunga shared that the plan includes the development of tourist destinations, improvement of tourist attractions, development of forts of archaeological value, establishment of community care villages and development of human capital for tourism.
Furthermore, plans are also afoot to develop forts of archaeological value such as Kalpitiya, Mannar and Batticaloa.

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