Sri Lanka s tourism industry has tremendous potential to grow further with the dawn of peace. The opening of the North and the East has brought positive hopes to Sri Lanka s tourism as two-thirds of the coastline, which was formerly under the control of terrorists, has been liberated making it accessible to tourists PJ Hotels (Pvt) Ltd., Chairman, Prasanna W. Jayewardene told Daily News Business.
PJ Hotels (Pvt) Ltd., will initiate a novel concept to the tourism and hotel industry with the Farm Accommodation in Vakarei, Mannar and Welikanda.
These farms designed in an eco-friendly manner, will enable tourists to experience natural habitats. Each set of suites in each location will be individual in design, simple though large, with building material from the area.
The food will be prepared in local specialties using only organic farm products to ensure the eco-friendly concept, he said.
He said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has declared the year 2011 as the Visit Sri Lanka Year and is targeting 2.5 million tourists.
The country has already surpassed the number of tourist arrivals of 450,000 during the last month and it is not an impossible target to attract 2.5 million tourist
* Farm suites de-signed in an eco-friendly manner
* Sri Lanka to attract 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2011
* Asians, the target market
arrivals by 2011.
The target market for the range of hotels is mainly Asians as they have shown a huge interest in exploring Sri Lanka.
Asia has the fastest growing economies and Sri Lanka has the potential of attracting more tourists to the country with the dawn of peace. Through the increased developments in these medium-term and long-term investments of the hotels, it would expand the Gross Domestic Production (GDP), foreign exchange earnings, job opportunities within the area and as a result the per capita income will also grow substantially, he said.
It is essential to highlight new concepts, activities and diversifications such as eco-tourism, adventure tourism, beaches, surfing, snorkelling, mountains, wild life, ancient city exploring, food, shopping, religious backgrounds, cultural events and ayurvedic medicaments.
Tourists will not only arrive by air, but the ferries will also increase and there is already a weekly-operated cruise from Cochin to Colombo, which targets Indian tourist arrivals to increase by over 20,000 annually, Jayewardene said. With the increased number of tourists the hotel industry should launch value added services to attract more tourists by fulfilling their needs. Hoteliers should adopt the concept of being green as it is important to have sustained tourism in the country, he said.