East coast tourism to flourish with peace, investments – Minister

Tourism Minister John Amaratunge with UNWTO Secretary GeneralTaleb Rifai, Petra National Trust of Jordan Chair Princess Dana Firas and Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Paddy Withana at the WTO Summit at the Amaya Hotel in Passikudah.  Picture by Shirajiv Sirimane.

Several international investors are lining up to put up hotels in the East coast as they see the vast potential for tourism in Passikudah, Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunge said.

Speaking at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference on “Tourism: A Catalyst for Development, Peace and Reconciliation,” he said that one to attract them was peace.

“While the world around us, even as close as Bangladesh is in turmoil, we are enjoying absolute peace and I know for a fact that this peace will be protected at all costs”.

“This conference is timely initiatives that will help transform this former war ravaged region to one that is a beautiful holiday destination with a thriving economy driven by tourism.”

“There is no other industry that brings together people than the tourism industry. The economic benefits of tourism are felt far and wide beyond the local communities. In fact our national economy is dependent on the success of this industry for its economic survival.”

“The revenue that we earn from this industry is the peace dividend that the country has received with the end of the conflict. This government is determined to ensure that this dividend is first enjoyed by those who were at the receiving end during the war.”

“It has been said over many years that the root cause of the conflict here was economic inequality and marginalization of certain communities. We have learnt our lessons. Tourism is one of the few industries that can develop economies overnight. One example is the Maldives which used tourism to transform that country in to a much sought after destination.”

“Some of you may know that this region was out of bounds to tourism for almost three decades due to the war. It is only now that tourism is transforming the lives of people in this country and especially in the areas that have been starved of development for years.”

“Today the country is at peace and Passikudah is a shining example of how the people who were affected by the conflict have picked up the pieces, started afresh and are now reaping the rewards of their efforts.”

Source : http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=2016/07/13/business/87287

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