‘Arugam Bay’ to be transformed into high-income tourist destination

Saturday, 26 August 2023 00:02 –      – 95

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 President Ranil Wickremesinghe who toured Arugam Bay yesterday greets a tourist

 

  • President announces plans for 10-year strategic roadmap encompassing two distinct phases of development strategies aimed at positioning region as a premier travel and leisure hub
  • Urgent measures to address land title challenges for businesses

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday announced the swift implementation of a comprehensive plan to elevate the Arugam Bay tourist zone into a highly desirable destination for both local and international tourists, with the potential to generate substantial revenue.

The President emphasised the importance of meticulous planning in identifying areas that necessitate development, with the intention of executing these initiatives systematically. The President further highlighted the prospect of achieving significant income by promoting water sports such as water skiing, which holds popularity along the Arugam Bay coastline.

Wickremesinghe conveyed these rema-rks during a meeting held with key stakeholders in the tourism industry within the Ampara district. The gathering brought together Government officials and industry professionals, aimed at addressing pertinent challenges that have emerged within the tourism sector.

The President underscored that global reports predict tourism to contribute 10% of the global gross domestic product by the year 2035. He stressed that Sri Lanka should proactively prepare for this shift and highlighted the tourism sector’s potential to directly address the nation’s financial challenges.

Wickremesinghe also outlined a two-phase development plan for the tourism industry in the Eastern Province, with the ambitious goal of completing it within the next decade.

Furthermore, during his ongoing tour of the Eastern Province, President conducted an inspection of Arugam Bay and Peanut Farm beaches in the Ampara district. The President personally assessed the areas’ shortcomings and engaged in cordial conversations with the tourists present there.

Following the site visit, President Wickremesinghe engaged in discussions with the local business community to gain insights into the challenges faced within the tourism sector in the area. This comprehensive engagement reflects the President’s commitment to actively addressing the needs and potential of the Eastern Province’s tourism industry.

In the process of developing the Arugam Bay Coastline into a prominent tourist destination, a proposal was put forth to relocate the existing fishing port to an alternative location, equipped with necessary facilities for fishermen. This proposal was conveyed to the President by MP W.D. Weerasinghe. In response, the President emphasised the urgency of transforming this region into a dedicated tourism area while taking swift action on the proposal.

The President’s attention was also drawn to the challenges arising from the absence of permanent property deeds for business premises within the local tourism industry. President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of promptly submitting a comprehensive report detailing these issues, with an expectation for viable solutions to be presented.

Another key concern addressed was the availability of drinking water for both business establishments and visiting tourists in the area. Recognising that the construction of the proposed ‘Hada Oya’ drinking water project might take several more years, President Wickremesinghe directed officials to explore the installation of establishing water treatment plants at existing natural water sources, with assistance from the Navy to address these multifaceted challenges in the pursuit of transforming Arugam Bay as a premier tourist destination while ensuring the well-being of the local community and visiting tourists.

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