Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has instructed officials to pay special attention to the implementation of the annual development plan of the Ministry of Tourism this year.
The Minister gave these instructions during a discussion held yesterday (27) to review the progress of development projects implemented by the Ministry of Tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism has allocated Rs. 519.56 million for tourism development projects this year. Rs. 37 million has been allocated for the development of tourist attractions. Rs. 45 million has been allocated for the development of human resources in the tourism sector. Rs. 10 million has been allocated for the Tourist Village Project and Rs. 62 million has been allocated for the development of railway stations as tourist attractions. Rs. 100 million has been allocated for the development of ancient Dutch forts. Another Rs. 265 million will be used for a joint venture between Sri Lanka and India.
Under the infrastructure development of tourist attractions, a number of development projects have already commenced, including the construction of the Yala Galge entrance, the construction of the Madolsima Punchi Lokantha viewing room and the development of infrastructure for Bopath Ella tourists. Under the Human Resource Development Project in the field of tourism, training activities are being carried out in the field of tourism covering all the provinces of the island. As at 31st March, 1042 persons have been trained at 21 centers in 11 districts.
07 Tourist Villages are operational under the Community Tourist Village Project. Steps have been taken to launch 07 new websites regarding these 07 tourist villages.
Badulla, Bandarawela and Nuwara Eliya railway stations are being modernized under the Railway Station Modernization Program. It was revealed that the reconstruction work of the ancient forts of Mannar, Kalpitiya and Batticaloa has already commenced.
Addressing the gathering Minister Prasanna Ranatunga emphasized the need for the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Development Authority to jointly implement tourism development activities. The Minister pointed out that in some cases, various conflicts arise due to the development activities being carried out according to the needs of the officials and stressed that the development of infrastructure facilities in the tourism zones should be done in a manner that protects the tourist attraction.