The Government has allocated Rs. 167.64 million to develop tourist attractions in several parts of the country over the next four months.
|Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said a short-term action plan has already been prepared to revive the tourism sector.
According to the new short-term strategy, Rs. 18.96 million has been allocated for the development of 12 tourist attractions identified in Kurunegala, Matale, Mannar, Kandy, Ampara, Badulla and Kegalle districts.
The Minister also said that the Government has paid special attention to develop communities driven tourism.
“The Government has allocated Rs. 2.88 million for this purpose for the next four months. Under this, development projects in Mederipitiya, Heel Oya, Atonwala, Bomburu Ella and Heelogama villages are already in operation,” he said.
Steps are also being taken to create separate websites to promote these villages among foreign tourists.
Further, measures will be taken to modernise the Negombo, Kandy and Kalutara railway stations within the next four months. “This is being done under the project of developing the railway stations of the island for tourist attraction. The amount allocated for this is Rs. 14.50 million,” the Minister said.
Tourism Ministry has already modernised the railway stations at Ella, Hatton, Galle, Bentota and Unawatuna under this project.
In addition, Rs. 29.40 million has been allocated for the development of the three old forts of Mannar, Kalpitiya and Batticaloa which are under the supervision of the Department of Archaeology.
The Ministry has also taken steps to train young people interested in the tourism sector in the coming quarter with allocating Rs. 29 million.
Ranatunga says that the Ministry has trained 1,050 trainees this year despite the COVID-19 epidemic. Another 1,220 will be trained and these programs are being implemented in 14 districts.