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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

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Tourism will help eliminate poverty - Basil

The government's aim is to develop the tourism industry providing welfare to all Sri Lankans. Tourism is one of the means that is used by most developing nations to eradicate poverty, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said.

He said so after opening the Mount Resort Hotel in Kithulkanda, Meepe recently.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Mount Resort
Hotel in Kithulkanda, Meepe

This environment friendly hotel built on a hilltop comprises a row of rooms that provide occupants 19 different views of the surrounding area.

Since the hotel is located above the satellite station, Padukka, visitors have been provided with the facility of observing the night sky from there.

The minister noted that the majority of tourists who arrived in the country last year showed an interest in staying in small hotels rather than the grand ones.

As a result, a major part of the income from the industry had reached small businessmen leading to the emergence of small-scale entrepreneurs in rural areas who produce food items, clothing, souvenirs and other items which attract foreigners, he added.

Minister Rajapaksa said the World Tourism Organisation had predicted tourism would rise to thrice the present level within the next decade.

"In future there will be more tourists from countries such as India, China and Japan, according to the WTO," he said. This would greatly contribute to Sri Lanka's tourism development, he said.

Senior Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena and joint-Directors of Mount Resort Hotel Neil Kariyawasam and Nishantha Bentara Arachchi were among those who attended the event.

 

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