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John Amaratunga wants more entertainment for tourists

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Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga yesterday offered his support to hoteliers to recommence nightclub and casino operations to attract more young tourists to Sri Lanka, and provide them with a wider range of enjoyable activities.

“Our casinos are no doubt an attraction for many Indians, but the complaint that I get from the Indian authorities often is that there isn’t enough entertainment in the city of Colombo and outstations. This is a key reason why most Indians go to other competitive destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Younger people look for entertainment in the night, although others want to enjoy at the later part of the day,” the Minister told journalists in Colombo yesterday.

Amaratunga insisted that late-night entertainment activities are very important, particularly for the younger generation, and is an area that the industry should work on to woo tourists.

“I have been telling The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) that they should start their nightclubs. At least now they should think of it, because this is one way of attracting the younger Indian tourists to come to Sri Lanka,” he pointed out.

The Minister said the Colombo hotels had to limit their entertainment business, due to continuous misbehaviour by locals.

“These clubs were functioning very well, but those bad elements are no longer visiting the nightclubs. In those days, young boys from the political leaders patronised the venues, and misbehaved and picked fights every day, but those people are no more, and I think it’s time we start it again,” he urged.


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