Sri Lanka to use embarkation fee revenue to develop Kalpitiya Dutch Bay Island

December 2, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to part of its embarkation fee revenue to develop the Kalpitiya Dutch Bay Island into a tourist attraction, the government said Saturday. Cabinet of ministers had agreed to initiate the project across 5,000 acres of land at a cost of 350 million rupees.

Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike said the first and second phase of infrastructure development will be carried out by the Urban Development Authority and the State Engineering Corp., subject to approvals and clearances from the Central Environmental Authority, Coast Conservation Department, Fisheries and Defence Ministries.

In November, Sri Lanka announced plans to impose a 10 dollar fee on tourist visiting the island, as part of revenue collection measures for 2007.

Tourists from 78 countries are currently issued 30 day visit visas free of charge at the time of arrival.

President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the island’s finance minister said in his budget speech that the funds collected from overseas visitors will be used for environmental protection and to maintain archeological sites.