Six rural villages that have tourist attractions will be developed based on the eco-tourism concept by the Economic Development Ministry s Tourism Division. The project called the Community Tourism Development Program is expected to promote tourism with less damage to the environment.
We have had discussions with community leaders of the villages and what they expect from this development, a senior official said. These villages have traditional values and they are historically famous for woodcarving, weaving and brassware, Economic Development Ministry Tourism Division Director Anura Ranasinghe told Daily News Business.
Under this project, six villages - Uthuwana and Ihalakotte in the Kegalle district famous for Uthuwankanda, Puwakpitiya in the Matale district famous for Sera Ella will be developed.
Nattarampotha in the Kandy district famous for brassware and Magalthota in the Galle district and Kapparathota in the Matale district will also be developed.
We will first promote the sites for local tourists including school children and parents.
Several promotional programs will be followed locally as well as internationally. We expect to get 500 tourists a week in the future for each village.
There has been a good progress since the inauguration of the project, he said.
Ranasinghe said they have already done some awareness programs for tourist guides.
He expected that the number of tourists will grow as this project progresses with local tourists visiting these villages. The Ministry will complete several infrastructure facilities for the project.
Technical and training facilities will be provided to craftsman in these villages.
We expect to promote market driven products and not products that are manufactured without having a good knowledge about the market.
The project will present a new experience to tourists who can witness the manufacturing process of a product while enjoying the beauty of the area, he said.
Currently they are in the process of developing a database from where tourists can get information about tourist attractions in the country.
The project hopes to increase the living standard of villagers as one of the main objectives.