October 20, 2019
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    Sri Lanka could pass the 5 million arrival mark next year - Tourism Minister

    January 25, 2019

    The Colombo City is being over crowded with star class rooms, while the government is attempting to woo new investors in the leisure sector to move out of Colombo, said Minister of Christian Affairs and Tourism John Amaratunge, speaking at the THINC, the Tourism, Hotel Investment & Networking Conference, networking event where the Lifetime Achievement Award by HOTELIVATE was presented to Nepal’s first billionaire as featured Forbes, Dr Binod Chaudhary at the Galle Face Hotel on Tuesday.

    The Minister said that Sri Lanka today, had a very good highway network with good connections to rural areas and new investors, should move to such areas and build hotels, while the “Government would support such initiatives.”Amaratunge said tourism has moved up the ladder as the third largest foreign exchange earner to the country, netting in a US$ 4.4$ billion revenue, while accounting to a 5% of GDP.

    “Despite the 52 day political unrest in October to November, arrivals had increased by 11.6% on YOY basis to 3.2 million. “Most importantly, over 900,000 are employed in the industry, while this number is steadily moving up.”His prediction was that by 2020, Sri Lanka could pass the 5 million arrival mark.

    Meanwhile, Nepal’s Dr Binod Chaudhary said that he first invested in the travel sector in Taj Samudra, Colombo, which gave him confidence to invest in many other countries. The next step was to partner Jetwing Hotels and under the CG Hospitality with the Galle Face Group, added 10 properties across the country in partnership with Ceylon Hotels Corporation.

    “I invested in Sri Lanka when the economy was in the doldrums and the tourism sector specifically faced permeating catastrophic consequences. Foreign capital was non-existent and Sri Lankans themselves, were cautious about investing in their home turf. But it was a successes, “ he recalled.

    With Taj Samudra being the first investment into the hospitality sector for CG Hospitality, the Group has a formidable portfolio of 125 hotels in 12 countries, 90 destinations and 6,500 keys.“At present, I am planning on having over 200 hotels within this ever expanding portfolio within the next two to three years, which includes Sri Lanka as well.”

    Meanwhile Managing Director CG Hotels and Resorts, Rahul Chaudhary speaking to the Daily News, said that they would invest around Rs. 400 million to develop the former Ceylon Hotel Corporation properties before 2020.


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