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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 101

Negombo identified as a 'Tourist Zone' by the Ceylon Tourist Board

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 03 April, ( Though the travel industry in Sri Lanka has jolted due to terrorist activity, the industry people are fully geared to face any tourist inflows and are hoping for the better with an enormous investment expecting adequate returns.

In the same way Negombo a major tourism stop is also fully geared to take in the influx tourist whenever they arrive.

For some time Negombo Hoteliers Association (NHA) has been lobbying to get the area identified by the Ceylon Tourist Board as a Tourist Resort. Recently when the NHA delegation led by its President, Expedit Croos met MIlinda Moragoda, Minister of Tourism and Renton De Alwis, Chairman, CTB on two separate occasions, it was agreed to identify Negombo travel are as a Tourist Zone.

The delegation represented matters concerning: identifying Negombo tourist sector as a ‘Tourist Resort’ obtaining a state of the art beach cleaning vehicle and equipment; life saving unit for Negombo; improvements on Muthurajawela and the Hamilton Canal Rehabilitation Project.

While there was agreement to identify Negombo as a Tourist Zone by CTB, a beach cleaning tractor that would cost Rs 9 million would be provided on September 27, when Negombo celebrate a part of the World Tourism Day. Out of Rs 9 million, rupees six million would be provided by the Negombo Municipal Council and the balance rupees three million would be borne by the Ministry of Tourism.

There was also consensus that the major stakeholders, like the Negombo Hoteliers Association would be involved in the Hamilton Canal Rehabilitation Project and it is expected the project to run into several millions of rupees.

Earlier too there were rehabilitation programmes of this canal spending colossal sums of money, but they have apparently ended up as shoddy jobs as almost all the built up banks have collapsed and the canal is now heavily silted.

Croos said that their meeting with the Minister and the Chairman Tourist Board could be termed as very cordial and highly successful and although there is a jolt in the travel industry due to various incidents that are taking place, Croos said that the Negombo travel sector is completely equipped to take in the usual tourist influx.

Croos said that their association represents 18 major tourist hotels in Negombo and all of them are well equipped and prepared to take in the full force of tourists. He also said that their association is glad that the infrastructure for tourism in Negombo is almost complete and the shortfalls here and there could be settled as they maintain a very good rapport with the relevant authorities.

- Asian Tribune -

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