Sri Lanka is preparing a 10-year tourism master plan covering new infrastructure in former war zones and avoiding the haphazard development that happened in existing resort areas, an official said.
S Kalaiselvam, director-general of the Tourism Authority, said a new master plan was needed to ensure planned, sustainable development of tourism in the island, which is emerging from a 30-year ethnic war.
Already the authority has prepared plans for new resort areas including two in Nilaveli and Kuchchaveli on the east coast, and one in Kalpitiya on the north-west coast.
It has invited local and foreign investors with proposals to build resorts for which land will be allocated.
“We need to do plans for other areas as well,” Kalaiselvam told a seminar organised by the US Agency for International Development to identify growth opportunities in the east for the private sector.
“We’re preparing a master plan that will identify what is needed in various areas.”
Sri Lanka intends to attract 2.5 million tourists by 2016, from just half-a-million a year today.
“The private sector is confident the target is achievable,” Kalaiselvam said. “The east coast has the best beaches – it is a good product.”