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Sun, 19 April 2015 19:58:14
Sri Lanka to build premium tourism zone; offers 14 islands
09 Sep, 2008 14:11:41
By Anushika Kamburugamuwa
Sept 09, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lanka is to offer a new tourism zone for development in Kalpitiya in the country's north western coast, which has 14 islands in which to build eco-friendly resorts, officials said.
The Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITRP), and nearby islets in the Puttalam area will be built as a premium destination, Sri Lanka's tourist promotion office said.

"We will promote Kalpitiya as a destination," says Sri Lanka Tourism chief Renton de Alwis.

"For example, Bali is not promoted as Indonesia. Bali has its own air links and immigration."

Prasad Galhena, who is in charge of the KITRP project, says the area will have super luxury hotels, where premium rates would be charged. The project is expected to generate four times the 79 US dollars a day spend of a tourist.

A currently dis-used airfield in Palavi in the same area would be developed.

Kalpitiya is now mainly an agricultural and fishing area. Officials say no re-settlements are planned and the existing community will be integrated into the planned development.

The government is planning to develop a mini city with new roads power links and a hospital. Condominiums, a race course and an amusement park is also planned.

Tourism secretary George Michael says the area with 14 islands contains 4,000 acres for development.

Galhena said requests for proposals from investors would be called by November after cabinet approval is received.

Officials are hoping to get approval for an investor guide that has been already prepared by mid-October.

Sri Lanka's tourism has been hit by an internal conflict. Authorities are hoping to bring in close to 600,000 tourists this year.

The Kalpitiya premium zone when fully developed is expected to attract one million tourists, and official say is the largest single tourism project promoted so far.

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6. lakshman Dalpadado Sep 22
Far better to promote retirement programs for European retirees giving long term visas and the right to buy free hold property without the 100% tax penalty.

This how Costa Rica and Panama got rich with very little effort. Now other countries including Thailand, Malaysia, NIcaragua, Mexico, Seychelles and Mauritius are emulating the success of Costa Rica.

Real estate purchase is the biggest investment a person makes. If 100000 retirees takes up residence and if each person brings in USD 200,000 - that will add and Rupees 2 trillion to the Sri Lankan economy. This is easy money.

A retiree progrmme will revive the construction industry and will give employment to maids, nurses, home help etc, as elderly people needs care. . All their income( pensions) will be spent here, unlike short term tourists.

Such programmes will give employment to maids, gardners and cooks without them having leave these shores.

After much cajoling, immigration is now issuing 2 year visas to retirees- but this is not enough. They should be able to buy freehold property without taxes.

5. chili Sep 17
Nice idea, but the beds will stay empty without solving the internal conflict...
4. Enigma Sep 10
Premium Tourism is fine - so is development... but one has to think of long term impact!
Consider Hikkaduwa & Unawatuna - do you think that these are 'premium' tourist hotspots? Not a chance! Something that'll put Sri Lanka on the map for something 'good'!!!

Of course then the 'coal plant' idea should also be shut down - which will be easy to do if we find investors for solar power plants in the island... think a minute...

3. rahul Sep 10
1000000/365 = 2740 tourist per day if they stay single night only and tourist arrival is equally distributed. But our tourism is seasonal, so not 365, you have to think about europe winter.

1000000?/150=6667 per day, do our immigration officers can handle that traffic with there present attitude and capacity.if they use 40 seater comfortable transporter to shuttle the guest in between airport and location 167 rides.

i know head of sl tourism promotion always says we are dream sellers. Selling dreams is one thing, but day dreaming is something different.

2. Citizen Sep 10
It’s good to note that after many decades the gurus of tourist promotions in this country discovered that kalpitiya is the best inland waterway in the country for tourism, but other smart ones have started on a coal power plant in this area.

Wonder who in his right mind would spend premium rates to have a vacation next to a coal power plan.

1. Concerned Sep 09
Careful Sir. Look at hikkaduwa and Unawatuna. There is dynamite fishing in hikkaduwa, over-development and dynamite finish in unawatuna and both these places no longer have the marine biodiversity they did no more than 20 years ago.

There is ample dynamite fishing already in kalpitiya as well. Don't even dar compare to Bali - they protect their resources.

Unless you have enforcable conservation policies in place to protect the natural resources, bringing in development is only going to lead to ruin of existing marine life and eco-balance.