GOVT. TO SPEND RS 680M FOR TOURIST SITE DEVELOPMENT

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By 2017-01-11

By Mario Andree

As Sri Lanka targets more than 4 million tourist arrivals by 2020, despite falling short of last year's target by 150,000, the government has allocated Rs 680 million to develop and upgrade infrastructure at tourism locations.

Sri Lanka aims for 2.5 million tourists this year with a foreign exchange income of nearly US$ 4 billion, paving the way for the said target in 2020.

According to Minister for Tourism and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga, the country will carry out a massive advertising campaign to attract much needed tourist arrivals to the country.
The Rs 680 million allocations by the Treasury would be focused on regional tourism site development and enhancement of facilities for travellers.

According to the Tourism Development Authority, the State tourism agency will work closely with regional tourism bodies to enhance facilities and create alternative facilities required by travellers.
Part of the allocation has been set to promote destinations in the Eastern Province as well as some of the locations in the hill-country of Sri Lanka.

Further, water transport within the country would be enhanced providing more access ways to tourism sites in the country.
Earnings from tourism touched the US$ 3 billion mark during the first eleven months of last year reflecting a growth of more than 14.5 per cent, as monthly tourism earnings for November show higher progress.
The country targeted 2.2 million arrivals last year with an income of more than US$ 3.5 million. However, the tourist arrivals target for the year was missed by nearly 150,000 tourists.

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