World heritage sites earn over Rs. 01 bn

By Saman Indrajith

Culture and Arts Minister T. B. Ekanayake told Parliament yesterday that revenue of Rs 1,341.24 million had been collected from the visitors to the World Heritage sites in the country last year.

The revenue earned from those sites in 2010 was Rs. 761.58 million and in 2011 they brought in an income of Rs. 1,023.11 million, the minister said.

Responding to a question raised by UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake, the minister said that the Anuradhapura sacred city, Polonnaruwa ancient city, Sigiriya rock fortress, Dambulla cave temple with frescoes, Kandy sacred city and Galle ancient city and its ramparts had been recognised as cultural world heritage sites and Sinharaja Forest, Mount Siripada (Adam’s Peak) and Knuckles mountain range, with its forest area, had been identified as natural world heritage sites. The natural world heritage sites came under the purview of the Ministry of Environment.

A sum of Rs 1,448.6 million was spent on excavation, conservation and promotion of cultural world heritage sites during the last three years, he said.

In 2012, the cultural heritage sites had been visited by 452,369 locals and 587,738 foreigners, Ekanayake said.

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