The Chamber of Tourism and Industry with the support of the Ministry of Tourism Development has taken the initiative to revive the tourism industry in Arugambay which was very badly hit by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
As an initial step a meeting was convened by the Divisional Secretariat Pottuwil with Ministry of Tourism Development Secretary S. Hettiarachchi with the participation of Chamber of Tourism and Industry President A.M. Jaufer, Assistant Divisional Secretary Y. Rasheed, hoteliers in the area, senior officials of the security forces and the representatives of the general public.
The aim of the meeting was to provide an overview of the current situation of the industry in the area and find solutions to problems faced by the stakeholders of the tourism industry.
In his opening remarks Jaufer thanked the Secretary for making himself available to visit Arugambay and discuss the issues faced by the people in the industry. He said Arugambay despite being a world famous surfing destination there was no proper facility for beach cleaning in the area.
He requested the Secretary to make available a beach cleaning machine for Pottuwil Pradeshiya Sabbha and added that the other very important area was the water shortage in Arugambay which could be solved by implementing the Hedaoya water project.
Jaufer also requested the Secretary to consider providing firefighting equipment for the Pottuwil Pradeshiya Sabbha and initiate discussion with the Coast Conservation Department to take remedial measures to counter sea erosion.
He also requested setting up of an Eastern Province Tourism Development Authority office in Arugambay, to provide solar-powered lights to Arugambay bridge and more facilities to the Tourist Police in the area and required equipment to the lifeguard service providers in the STF, along with sanitary facilities in the surfing locations and to conduct a mobile service for the registration of tourism industries.
He also said that the tourist guides and drivers in the area were yet to receive the compensation package paid by the Government to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic while the industry stakeholders in the area still did not have access to financial facilities offered by the Central Bank.
Addressing the gathering Hettiarachchi said that he was happy to meet the stakeholders in the industry and gather firsthand information regarding reviving the industry in the area. He promised to provide necessary compensation for the tourist drivers and guides within this month and conduct a mobile service to register tourism industries in the area with a minimum documentation.
Hettiarachchi also requested Jaufer and other officials to look for a suitable location to set up the Tourism Development Authority office in Arugambay for the province.
During his visit Hettiarachchi visited the beaches in Arugambay and inspected the construction of the proposed restaurant being built by the Tourism Development Authority in Panama for the convenience of travellers and the general public of the area.
Ministry of Tourism Director Development S.L.M. Hasim and Ministry of Tourism Director Planning Bavani Niranjani also participated. http://www.ft.lk/travel-tourism/CTI-initiates-tourism-revival-in-Arugambay/27-706035