Sri Lanka to build premium tourism zone; offers 14 islands

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. 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.

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 immigratio