Dec 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasizes the need to develop the Uva Province including the Ella-Wellawaya area as a major tourist zone through a systematic plan while protecting the natural environment.
The Premier, who undertook an observation tour yesterday in Ella, met with the Divisional Secretary and the officials of the Ella Divisional Secretariat to discuss the development of the area.
During the discussion attention was focused on the present situation of the tourism movement in the area. The officials informed the Premier currently there are about 1,000 hotel and residential rooms in Ella. However, the Prime Minister pointed out that according to the Tourist Board's records there are only 300 rooms.
The Prime Minister asked the officials to take an accurate census on the accommodations available for the tourists and promptly submit a report to him on the inadequacies that hinder the development of tourism in the area.
Following the observation visit, the Prime Minister on his official Facebook page said Ella which is the tourist gateway to Uva was developed completely by the Ella people over the last few years. Without the involvement of the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority.
"Given the unbridled expansion of the last few years, I discussed with the hoteliers on how best to formulate a development plan while protecting the environment. This will include Rawana Caves, Doowa Temple and Numunukula," he said.
The Premier stressed that action has to be taken immediately as the numbers will increase once Mattala Airport becomes operative in mid-June 2018.