- Published on Saturday, 08 December 2012 15:57
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Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa Thursday (06) launched a programme to provide pradeshiya sabhas with infrastructure facilities for garbage disposal in areas marked for tourism development. The objective is to create environment-friendly tourism regions in the country.
At present Sri Lanka has six tourism regions – Bentota, Kalpitiya, Pasikuda in Batticaloa, Kuchchuweli in Trincomalee, Vakaray and Yala. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has modernized tourism regions in the North and East to make them attractive to visitors, under the guidance of Minister Basil Rajapaksa after the end of a 30-year war.
The Minister Basil Rajapaksa presented tractors and trailers to the Bentota and Pasikuda Pradeshiya Sabhas. Chairman, Bentota Pradeshiya Sabha, Gayan Sirimanne and Secretary, Valachchena Pradeshiya Sabha, N. Siyabdeen are seen here accepting the tractors and trailers.
Sri Lanka’s first environmental tourism region was begun in a 700 acre-area in Bentota in 1970. It comprised seven hotels with 630 rooms. The second tourism region was started in Kalpitiya comprising 14 islets with an extent of 4000 acres.The Pasikuda tourism region, Batticaloa begun in 2009 comprises 14 hotels with 930 rooms built in a 156 acre-area. The Kuchchuweli tourism region, Trincomalee covers a 590 acre area. The extent of the Vakaray tourism region is 73 acres. It is the Tourism Development Authority that undertook the well-planned development of these areas under Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s guidance.
By now tourist arrivals in the island is rapidly increasing and a number of programmes catering to their needs have been launched under infrastructure development. Accordingly, the SLTDA has decided to provide tourism regions next year too with beach cleaning equipment, diving equipment and life saving equipment as well as give training in life saving. In addition the SLDTA has taken steps to build tourism shopping centres in the Bentota, Beruwala, Hikkaduwa, Kalutara, Negombo and Pasikuda under the minister’s guidance, according to Mihira Liyanarachchi, Director SLTDA Domestic Tourism Resorts.
Child Development and Women’s Affairs Deputy Minister MLAM Hizbullah, Resettlement Deputy Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralidaran, SLFP Organiser Bentara-Elpitiya Geetha Kumarasinghe, SLTDA Chairman Bhashwara Gunawardena and Director Mihira Liyanarachi participated in the launching of the infrastructure development programme.