Sri Lanka lures Indian houseboat tourism firm

General Manager - Port Investment Services at HIPG, Justin Zhang with Sri Lanka's Ambassador to China, Dr. Palitha Kohona in Beijing

June 30, 2010 (LBO) – An Indian company has been given approval by Sri Lanka’s investment promotion agency to launch houseboat tourism services in a lake in the central hills, a statement said. The Board of Investment said SAJ House Boat Builders & Operators signed a deal to provide houseboat services in Nuwara Eliya with an initial investment of 55 million rupees that will be increased to 100 million.

The tourism market is looking at Sri Lanka as the most promising tourism destination in Asia,’ a BOI statement quoted Jaison Panikulangara, Director of SAJ House Boat Builders & Operators, as saying.

To utilize the full potential of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination, it is necessary to identify, develop and promote new and innovative tourism products.

It said house boat operations are a successful tourism product in the Indian state of Kerala.

Houseboat operations would be a successful tourist attraction in the inland water bodies including rivers, lakes and lagoons of Sri Lanka.

The houseboats which the company will introduce are 100 feet in length, with a width of around 20 feet and the middle has a height of 16 feet.

The boats are made of wo