- Initiative to encourage the international business community to explore the untapped business opportunities in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Tourism will be one of the key sectors highlighted at the upcoming Sri Lanka Investment Forum (SLIF) 2021, the first and largest virtual investor forum in the region scheduled to be held from 7 to 9 June.
Opportunities for investments in the tourism sector will be one of the key areas of the forum among 50+ sessions scheduled to reach across two time zones. Sri Lanka Tourism is participating in the forum to promote and position the island as the perfect destination for post-COVID travel and thereby attract foreign direct investors.
One of the most anticipated sessions is the Tourism Industry Panel Discussion (Track 2) is to be held on 8 June, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Some prominent personalities in the hospitality industry will grace the panel discussion moderated by Jetwing Symphony PLC Chairman Hiran Cooray. The eminent panellists include John Keells Holdings PLC Chairman Krishan Balendra, Shangri-La Hotel Colombo Vice President/General Manager Timothy Wright, Sail Lanka Yachting Group Chairman and Founder Pierre Pringiers, and Ministry of Crab Co-Founder Dharshan Munidasa.
These industry experts will share their insights into the potential and future of the tourism industry. This deep dive session will help investors to explore tourism opportunities in Sri Lanka by hearing from foremost industry experts about specific areas in which they can invest.
The third session on 8 June from 1:30-2:30 p.m. will offer first-hand information about the regulatory environment in Sri Lanka and the procedures to follow during investment projects; Further, it will provide a platform for the potential investors to interact with Government officials in understanding the immediately available investment opportunities in the country, where the investors will also be able to request and arrange B2B meetings with Sri Lanka Tourism officials.
Aligning to global trends, Sri Lanka Tourism is being transformed into a dynamic entity that will become the gateway for tourism investments into the country. The Investor Relations Unit (IRU) is the centralised promotion and facilitation centre established by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to assist potential investors interested in Sri Lanka’s Tourism Industry. The IRU’s streamlined facilitation mechanism that incorporates 43 government agencies minimises the time taken to obtain necessary approvals and manages all coordination on behalf of the investor.
This facilitation mechanism is in the process of automation and will be fully online within the next few months. In addition, the IRU acts as the facilitator for compliance with regulatory requirements of the country including eligibility for financial assistance extended by the banks and provides visa recommendations during the project approval/construction/implementation period.
Sri Lanka Tourism has developed an investor handbook to assist tourism investors with accurate information and guidance needed to proceed with the new streamlined approval process. This Handbook covers the entire approval process, from the first pre-application meeting with Sri Lanka Tourism to the final license needed to operate your business. It not only provides design ideas based on Sri Lanka’s iconic architectural tradition, unique cultural heritage, and rich natural resources but also guides to minimise the impact on the environment by focusing on energy-efficient green buildings and sustainable operations that can ensure the well-being of the community.
SLIF 2021 is jointly organised by the Board of Investment, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Colombo Stock Exchange, where Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando will deliver the keynote address on the second day of the event. In keeping with the objectives of the policy framework: Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour to drive Sri Lanka towards a people-centric experiential tourist destination, it is envisaged that this forum will encourage the international business community to explore the untapped business opportunities and ‘Invest in Tourism Sri Lanka’.