Oct 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Economic Development Ministry says that many new-style holiday resorts will be opened in Sri Lanka, especially in the tourist zones of Eastern seaboard, in December.
These hotel and resorts are being built under the Ministry's five-year plan to build 50,000 new hotel rooms to accommodate the 2.5 million tourists expected in Sri Lanka by 2016. The plan is successfully nearing completion, the Ministry says.
Most of the hotels have been constructed in the tourist zones of Kuchchaweli in Trincomalee and Pasikuda in Batticaloa.
Aliya Resort and Spa, a new resort built on a 22-acre area in Sigiriya at a cost of US$ 78 million will open in December.
The hotel which has an Ayurveda center, elephant study center and a paddy museum, will provide direct employment for 220 people in the area and provide 500 others with indirect employment.
Chairman of the Aliya Resort, hotelier Chandra Wickremasinghe credits the five-year plan of the Ministry of Economic Development for successful completion of the resort.
According to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the government aims to develop the tourism industry to benefit all citizens since in many developing countries tourism is a means of eradicating poverty.
Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals recorded a 15.5 percent increase in the first nine months of this year with 801,210 tourists arriving in the island and from January to July this year Sri Lanka has earned US$ 674.1 million from tourism.
Sri Lanka fulfilled its target of one million tourist arrivals last year and earned over US$ 1 billion from tourism and expects 1.1 million tourists in this year.