News

Cable cars, underwater art to woo tourists

  • Approval sought for tourism projects worth $ 34 m

By Dinitha Rathnayake

 

Foreign and local investors are seeking approval from the tourism authorities for tourism sector investment projects worth $ 34 million, which include cable cars, floating restaurants, and underwater art galleries, according to Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga.

Proposals for these investments have been submitted within a period of just over two months, starting from 1 April to 15 June.

Ranatunga said a total of seven new tourism projects are pending approval from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and the relevant steps have been taken to approve these projects. Proposals have been submitted for projects such as cable cars, floating restaurants, and underwater art galleries.

Meanwhile, within a period of one-and-a-half years up to April 2021, $ 879.94 million worth of investments sought approval from the SLTDA, where out of 54 projects, 29 projects worth $ 184.4 million have been granted approval so far.

Minister Ranatunga said that in addition to the natural beauty that attracts tourists to Sri Lanka, a number of new areas have been identified, aimed at promoting tourism.

“According to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement, more attention has been paid to expanding new investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. The Government intends to expand and develop the tourism industry. The process has been formalised and expedited with the approval of tourism investments. Arrangements have been made to sign memorandums of understanding (MOU) with 43 relevant government institutions, and 10 MOUs have been signed already.”

The SLTDA said it has already established a special communication unit to support investments to reduce the complicated nature of the investment approval process.