Create unique products from tourist attractions - Hemas Chairman
Eighty percent in rural areas:
Harshini PERERA Hemas Group Chairman Lalith de Mel said.
Lalith de Mel
Speaking at a seminar held on ‘Making Sri Lanka a top tourist
destination’, he said creating the infrastructure facilities such as
rooms for the expected tourists will be a challenge for Sri Lanka.
“We need to cater them with 24,000 to 40,000 rooms to which many
local and foreign investment is needed,” he said.
“Every investor regardless of the investment expects to get a fair
pay back. Their confidence as well as the commitment shown by the
Government will make a vibrant tourism industry in Sri Lanka,” de Mel
said. “The emotional commitment of the Government does not matter in the
development of tourism. Sun and sand is available everywhere and Sri
Lanka needs to create unique products out of the common.”
“Building highways takes a long time. Tourism industry cannot wait
until the completion of these development projects. The industry can
take new avenues such as collaborating with railways to promote tourist
attractions. The geographical location of many tourist attractions is
connected to the railway lines,” Lalith de Mel said. Sri Lanka needs to
concentrate on recasting the bureaucracy as well as some of the
legislation to ease the laying of infrastructure process for investors.
Before investors embark on the market, Sri Lanka should think about the
availability of human resources.
The Chairman said some of the softer issues such as cleanliness and
accelerated service at the airport should be considered.
“There should be institutionalized and collaborative activities
between the Government and the private sector in building up the private
sector initiative to strengthen the investments,” he said.