Italians to invest in Sri Lankan tourism sector


Dr. Luis Durnwalder President of Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy, has expressed his intention to invest six million dollars to establish a Tourism Centre in Sri Lanka to promote tourism in the island, the Economic Development Ministry said.

He said this when an Italian delegation met Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at his ministry office.

The Italians will explore the facilities available here for investments in this area. Dr. Durnwalder welcomed the steps Sri Lanka had taken to develop the industry and said that the country had all facilities tourists need.

He made a special note of the progress in developing the road network, the ministry said.

"When tourism develops, many foreign students are bound to visit the country," he predicted. Durnwalder and his team visited several places to select the best location to establish a tourism centre in the island.

Rajapaksa stressed the need for introducing new courses for students in the tourism field and said the government has taken on the responsibility of building infrastructure, hotels, providing food and security for tourists.

He said that providing accommodation for tourists in private homes had also become popular among locals.  He also briefed the Italian visitors on the government’s development policy and the Divi Neguma national programme aimed at eradicating poverty in the country.

Drawing attention to the completion of the Southern Expressway, he also told the visitors that the Northern Expressway and the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway were already under construction.

Rajapaksa added that Sri Lanka was now focusing on generating electricity through solar power and bio-gas, since hydro-electricity was not enough to meet the country’s power requirements.

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