The Unit for National Investment in Tourism (UNIT), also known as the ‘one stop unit’ at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, was set up one year ago on the advice of Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa.
It has played a key role in facilitate approval process of several hotel projects in the island. UNIT is a centralised promotion and facilitation centre established to assist potential tourism investors interested in investing in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
UNIT is a one point of contact for investors. Specialist staffs from various Government agencies which are part of UNIT help investors to identify feasible projects, obtain information regarding the potential investments, submit applications, and to provide support in obtaining investment promotion privileges, trade licenses and other approvals requested for project clearance.
UNIT prevents the need for investors to spend time in search of answers and ensures all queries are handled by its specialist staff. Furthermore, UNIT reduces the time taken on receiving approval from various Government agencies and it does the coordinating on behalf of the investor.
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godehewa said: “was a challenging task to set up a unit which can coordinate with multiple Government entities. Under the guidance of the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, the task became a reality. With this facility at hand, we can now discuss all the matters pertaining to the investors in the industry of tourism under a one roof.”
Explaining the cooperation extended by the Ministry of Economic Development in this regard, he said: “The Minister of Economic Development has already allocated a date in every month to have a face-to-face meeting with the tourism-investors with the view of facilitating a discussion room to come up with their issues and future development plans. The cooperation extended by all State entities and the continued support given by the Ministry of Economic Development was simply praiseworthy.”
The proposed one stop unit enables the investors to access information on potential tourist investments by the provision of a directory of available lands prior to the investment. During the investment process too it coordinates between the investor and the relevant Government authorities in order to obtain the required fast-track approvals for building plans.
UNIT now provides the facilities for the investors to discuss their issues related to the investment in tourism sector. It can be contacted via hotlines 0773157688 (Nimalka) or e-mail [email protected]. You can also visit its website at www.sltda.lk.
UNIT is currently processing over 189 applications which cover 10,750 rooms. At this juncture, the total investment on this programme has surpassed US$ 1,785 million. Remarkably, out of these 189 applications, UNIT has already cleared 99 hotel projects for construction and it is busy with clearing the remaining 90 projects covering 2,242 rooms with US$ 1,416.26 million.