In tandem with the private sector rush to harness the post-war tourism rebound, the Government this week joined the trend by kicking off its own Rs. 300 million resort in Anuradhapura, though targeting domestic tourists.
Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa on the sidelines of Deyata Kirula laid the foundation stone for a tourist resort for local tourists to be constructed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority at the Anuradhapura Tourist Board premises.
The Ministry said that due to the rise of the tourism with the ending of the 30-year war, a large number of foreign tourists as well as local tourists were arriving to the sacred city. The purpose of initiating this project is to provide necessary facilities for those local tourists.
“Local tourism has been developed after ending terrorism. Anuradhapura deserves a prominent place among the tourist destinations that are being selected by the local tourists. After the North East Provinces became attractive tourist destinations, Anuradhapura has been developed as a centre leading to the North East Provinces and other areas. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the facilities of this area focusing on local tourists,” the Economic Development Minister said.
Minister Rajapaksa also presented appointment letters for the employment provided by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management to over 100 male and female youth in Anuradhapura District.
Training on hospitality and hotel management will be given to these employees by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management. Awarding appointment letters before the training took place in the field of tourism for the first time. Provision of job opportunities has been increased in the field with the development of tourism industry day by day.
A number of courses related to tourism affairs are being conducted through relevant centres by the Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute. These courses are being held at Anuradhapura, Kandy, Bandarawela, Ratnapura and Colombo branches.
The launch of a special book complied by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management in order to bring Rajarata recipes to international level and provision of water tanks for holy places in Anuradhapura took place under the patronage of the Minister of Economic Development.
Rs. 3 million each was granted to religious places that maintain pilgrimage houses to meet the water requirement of local tourists.
Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S.M. Chandrasena, Member of Parliament Sehan Semasinghe, Sri Lanka Tourism Authority Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Attorney-at-Law Pushpa Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management Director General Dr. Suranga Silva and many others participated in the event.