Business

Investor Relations Unit to fast-track FDI into tourism

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has launched the Investor Relations Unit to fast-track the investment process, the authority announced. The unit aims to provide a single point of contact for all tourism investments, giving accurate information and guidance while obtaining approvals from all government agencies. Documents required for all government approvals are listed and included in the “Master Application Form” for investor convenience.

Recent improvements to the investment approval process has resulted in bringing down the time taken for project approvals by up to 40% and further improvements are in the pipeline, including the process being 100% automated by the beginning of the second quarter of 2022. The development of the Investor Case Management System (ICM) is progressing with an effective facilitation mechanism carried out by well-trained professional staff.

In addition, the Government of Sri Lanka is extending a host of financial incentives and fast-track processes to get projects off the ground within the shortest possible time. The Government has arranged attractive financial as well as non-financial incentives for tourism investments such as VAT (Value-Added Tax) deferment for large-scale projects, simplified VAT scheme, and Customs duty-free importation facilities, to name a few, to compel investors to invest in Sri Lanka.

Despite Covid-19, Sri Lanka has been able to maintain a steady momentum of investor interest in its vibrant tourism industry. The sector has been attracting substantial investment; between March 2020 and June 2021, the Sri Lankan Government attracted over $ 950 million in investments.

With the anticipation of accelerating tourism investments, Sri Lanka invites foreign investors as the Government of Sri Lanka has approved 38 projects out of the 64 project proposals, to the value of $ 102.38 million.

A range of investment opportunities are available for investors seeking to be part of tourism projects that will accrue high returns. Opportunities are available to invest in small-scale tourism projects with a total investment less than $ 50 million, large-scale tourism projects with a total investment more than $ 50 million, and strategic development projects. Some of the sectors open for investment are infrastructure and utility services. The skilled labour force in Sri Lanka makes it easy for foreign investors to launch ventures with required manpower. Potential investors can choose from a variety of projects under different partnership arrangements.

Considering the high commitment levels of the Government, the Ministry of Tourism, and SLTDA to bring in foreign investment into the island, the present time is opportune for foreign investors to avail of world-class tourism projects which will be landmark investments in the region. Potential investors and trade partners are invited to connect with the Sri Lankan Embassy and/or Consulate to directly connect with Sri Lanka Tourism to further learn and explore the investment opportunities.

Sustainability remains at the heart of Sri Lanka Tourism. Green building guidelines have been released to ensure sustainable tourism development. Moreover, SLTDA is in the process of developing a land bank to facilitate investors securing the required spaces for their tourism projects. Currently, some world-class resort projects are being offered to investors in strategic tourist destinations in Sri Lanka to develop tourism in a planned and sustainable manner. Resorts which are available for investors presently are Kalpitiya Island Resort, Kuchchaveli Beach Resort, and Dedduwa Lake Resort.

Investors are invited to connect with SLTDA on infoiru@srilanka.travel and/or +94 718 109 571. For more details, visit www.sltda.gov.lk/en/investor-relations-unit.