Sri Lanka spruces up tourist attractions

June 24, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has launched an initiative to provide better access and facilities at tourist attractions in an effort to draw more visitors to the island, beginning to recover from 25 years of war. Tourism ministry secretary K A D George Michael said the government had allocated funds to improve basic infrastructure such as water and sanitation at tourist sites to cater to both foreign and domestic visitors.

This was because basic facilities such as accommodation, drinking water and toilets at many sites were woefully inadequate.

Tourism, both foreign and domestic, has the potential to give a fillip to the local economy, providing employment to villagers as well as improving their incomes, he told a news conference.

The end of the 25-year ethnic war with the defeat by government forces of Tamil Tigers last month meant there was great potential to revive tourism, which had long been in the doldrums because of the violence, he said.

“Tourism is an industry we can promote in the shortest possible times in good times and also bounces back fast after conflict.”

The government aims to attract 1.5 million tourists to the island by 2010.

Total tourist arrivals in to Sri Lanka