Sri Lanka readies for island tourist resorts

Jan 04, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka expects to announce the investors who have been chosen to develop 10 islands in Kalpitiya, off the north-west coast for tourist resort development in the next two weeks, the chairman of the tourism office said. The government embarked on developing resorts in the north-west region after the end of the island’s 30-year ethnic war in May 2009 which has led to a tourism boom with more than 600,000 visitors arriving in the island in 2010. Nalaka Godahewa said 11 investors were ready to invest around 500 million US dollars to build tourist resorts, golf courses, marinas and other tourist infrastructure in the newly demarcated tourism zone.

A Cabinet-appointed tender board has completed evaluating their proposals, he told Vimasuma.com, our sister news website.

“The evaluations will be submitted to the Cabinet this week. That means within the next two weeks we will be able to officially announce the investors who have been approved.”

Top international hotel chains are among the investors who sent proposals.

The islands are to be leased for 30-50 years to the investors, Godahewa said.

He also said residents on the islands will not be displaced to make way for tourists.

“We will not evic