An Echelon Media Company
Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka to promote spiritual and eco-tourism attractions in north west

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s north western province officials are set to highlight lesser known tourist attractions in the area, and hold a street food festival from November 10 through 12, in a bid to draw tourists to the region.

“We have selected specific historical, religious sites and reserves meant to promote spiritual and eco-tourism, in addition to a street food festival meant to launch Kurunegala as a stop for transitory tourists on the way to their destinations,” the north western province secretary Ranjith Ariyarathne said at a press conference yesterday (6).

Among the selected tourist attraction sites for local and foreign spiritual tourism promotion in the province are the Munneshwaram Kovil, Na Uyana monastery, Ridee Viharaya, Rankala and St Anne’s Church in Thalawila.

For eco-tourism, the sites highlighted will be Gange Wadiya fishing village, Wilpattu nature reserve, Deduru oya and Rajanganaya.

The food fiesta is to take place on the Kurunegala lake round, along a 700-800 metre stretch of the path. The street food festival’s attractions, aside from food and beverage, include entertainment, gaming, boat services, sales of north-western province sourced products and other stalls.

“We can improve our contribution to GDP as a sector and move it up from its position as the second largest sector to contribute, to the first largest contributor. One way to do it is to aim for both local and foreign tourism,” said Ariyarathna.

“The Kurunegala lake round development investment, which we received UN Habitat and Asian Habitat Society support to develop, has been nominated for the Asia Township Awards for its contribution to improving living ease among the population in Kurunegala.”

Kurunegala is a major transitory hub for foreign and local tourists, north western province development authority director general Ajantha Gunawardena said.

“For those travelling straight from the airport to the north, or those travelling from the up country to the down south, all of these tourists pass through the city of Kurunegala.”

However, “the city sleeps by 7 pm and there are not many reasons for tourists to spend more time in the city and help businesses,” he said.

The north western food fiesta is meant to kickstart a street food and after hours culture that can cater to the transitory tourists.

“The Kurunegala Lake is already popular among transitory tourists, and the lake round development and investment efforts are meant to cement it as a tourist pit stop, for those on their way to their destinations.”

North western province governor Lakshman Yapa Abeywwardena said that kitesurfing in Kalpitiya has the potential to elevate the region to the likes of Maldives, geared towards high-end tourists.

“We are in talks with the Navy commander to develop the Dutch prison fort as a tourist attraction too. So promoting these locations and putting them on the map will naturally attract tourists and solve the issue of a lack of star-class rooms in the area to accommodate tourists.”

The governor pointed out that the Hiriketiya village’s success as a tourist hotspot followed a similar set of circumstances.

“Tourists didn’t know of the village, but now that they do, the footfall to the village has drawn businesses there to facilitate star-class rooms. So we have to give tourists a good reason to visit a place as we put it on the map for visibility,” he said.

“There should be an attraction that would likely draw them to it. Once the attraction takes off, the other facilities needed for sustaining tourism in the area will come, due to the demand.” (Colombo/Nov7/2023)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka appoints new Attorney General

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed K A Parinda Ranasinghe PC as Attorney General.

He was appointed in terms of Article 61E (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the president’s media division said.

The new AG received the appointment from President Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday.

He fills the post after the retirement of former Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 301.70/302.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 301.70/302.00 to the US dollar on Friday, from 302.80/303.00 to the US dollar on Thursday, dealers said, while bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.75/80 percent, up from 11.80/88 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/30 percent, up from 12.15/25 percent. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka stocks close up, muted activity

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.35 percent, or 41.71 points, at 11,843; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.56 percent, or 19.20 points, at 3,454.

Turnover was low at 653 million.

“The market picked up a bit from yesterday but it’s still below the psychological 12,000 mark,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“Local retail participation drove the market predominantly.”

John Keells Holdings Plc brought in Rs109mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 194.50.

Melstacorp Plc contributed in Rs104mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 85.00.

Sentiment around the banking counters was mostly negative. Sampath Bank Plc closed down at 77.00, closed flat at 101.25, and Hatton National Bank Plc closed flat at 195.25.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (up at 103.50), Bukit Darah Plc (up at 397.00), and Hayleys Plc (up at 101.00).

Foreign participation remained low as well. There was a higher net foreign outflow of 101 million.

“Foreign selling was seen on John Keells Holdings, and banking counters; Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 195.00), Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc (down at 20.70), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

There was selective foreing interest on the diversified financials sector, particularly in companies that had vehicle leasing portfolios. “We think this might be due to the news of the vehicle import ban possibly ending.”

LOLC Holdings Plc closed up at 440.50, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc closed up at 12.20.

Softlogic Holdings Plc which announced the date of its rights issue, closed up at 8.50. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

Continue Reading