Sri Lanka tourism gets World Bank support

June 30, 2008 (LBO) – The World Bank has agreed to provide funds to the Sri Lankan government for a tourism initiative among small entrepreneurs and rural communities, the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement. The assurance of support came after talks by Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda with Wold Bank officials in Washington DC, it said.

“The bank was very receptive to supporting our efforts in enhancing standards and the quality of operations through capacity development for our SMEs and other tourism institutions and enterprises,” it quoted Moragoda as saying.

The funding will make use of private sector expertise and resources wherever possible in private-public partnerships as well as community-based initiatives to empower local communities and small businesses.

It will also cover human resource capacity building in government tourism institutions.

“The bank intervention may also include developing appropriate policies, compliance and regulatory mechanisms, marketing and promotion strategies for positioning Sri Lanka’s tourism offerings appropriately in key markets,” it said.

A World Bank mission is expected in the island soon.