Colombo, Dec 21 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the construction work of the Dedduwa tourism zone, which is Sri Lanka’s biggest tourism construction project to date, will begin in March next year in order to lure more tourists to the island country, state media reported Thursday.
The Prime Minister stated that the Dedduwa project will focus heavily on conservation of the natural eco-system, adding that new laws will be formulated to protect the environment in the area, during construction.
“We have a plan to convert this 1800-acre area into the best tourism destination in South Asia,” Wickremesinghe said.
“Lunuganga, an area that will be a key part of the Dedduwa project, is well-known because of the legendary architect Geoffery Bawa. The project will be very much in line with Bawa’s concepts and will further enhance the natural beauty of the area,” he added.
Wickremesinghe explained the government will carry out this significant tourism development project in collaboration with the private sector.
The Galle district in Southern Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister said, is located between two international airports – Katunayake and Mattala.
“Although many concentrate on the coastal area of Galle in terms of tourism, its interior areas are blessed with natural beauty and have immense potential. That is why we have already made plans to start tourism projects in Akurala and Koggala. With all these projects, Galle, I am certain, will become a major tourism hub in the region.”
Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has continued to grow since the end of a three decade long civil conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels which ended in May 2009.
China and India have been Sri Lanka’s largest market for the most number of tourist arrivals with over 21.8 million tourists arriving so far this year.
Europe and Britain have also witnessed a growth in recent years.
Sri Lanka has become a famous tourist destination among travelers and the government hopes to attract at least 5 million tourists per year by 2020.