New tourism zones for future development

The government is looking at identifying new tourism zones apart from calling for tenders for the Kalpitiya and Kuchchaveli areas, a key state official said.

“We have to look at new land for development,” Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Paddy Withana told the Business Times.

New lands are set to be identified in locations like Mannar as beach areas, North Central for cultural and heritage tours; and the countryside of Nuwara Eliya as hill resort stations, he explained.

The islands in Kalpitiya would be going through the procurement and tender procedure to get new investors to lease out these, he said, adding that the Kuchchaveli project would also be worked on.

In this respect, the government is looking at establishing a plan for future development of the tourism industry, Mr. Withana said.

He noted that they have also given the go-ahead for a number of hotel projects in Galle, Matara, Mirissa and Sigiriya.

These would add to the number of projected rooms of over 6000 by 2017, Mr.

Withana said adding that however, a higher capacity was required to cater to the growing arrivals to the country.

Commenting on the reasons for the limited occupancies despite the high tourist arrivals in the past few years, the chairman noted that it was due to the fact that most middle class travellers would pick a room based on a reasonable rate.

He explained that in this respect, most others would also pick rooms based on the feedback of guests as well to make their selection.

In this regard, the chairman has identified the need for a “good rating company” to rate hotels and rooms so as to put together a structure that would cater to an international standard.

Source : http://epaper.dailymirror.lk/epaper/viewer.aspx

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