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* More facilities to promote tourism in Northern Sri Lanka
Mon, Mar 15, 2010, 11:08 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Tourism is promoting Jaffna and the Northern Province as tourist destinations in an effort to empower the economy in the war-ravaged region.

Following the opening of the main A-9 Kandy-Jaffna highway, the only land route to the Northern Jaffna peninsula, around 300,000 local and foreign tourists have flocked to the region.

The Ministry in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Army has set up a tourist information centre at Hospital Street in Jaffna town to offer help and facilitate those visiting the Northern peninsula.

The visitors to the region have contributed to increase the income of the farmers and the small businessmen in the area. With more visitors arriving in the region, the demand for vegetables, fruits, and handicrafts has gone up, the Tourism Ministry says.

Sri Lankan authorities also plan to improve the accommodation facilities in the North to attract business investors as well as tourists to region. Several star class hotels are to be built in Jaffna and plans are afoot to double the number of flights from Colombo to Jaffna.

In addition, the Tourism Minister has instructed the Ministry Secretary to formulate a scheme to conserve sites of archaeological and religious importance in the North and minimize the damage to the environment.

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