Foreign investment is a key driver of economic growth, as is the revenue generated via tourism. As one of its primary exports, tourism remains Sri Lanka’s calling card to the world. Over the last fifteen months (March 2020-June 2021) the government has attracted over $950 million in investments, dedicated to revitalising the island’s burgeoning tourism sector.
64 project proposals have currently been received and 38 projects, to the value of $102.38 Million, have received approval. These ventures will be executed under the auspices of SLTDA. The level of interest shown by global investors is a positive sign for things to come and indicative of the immense potential inherent to the local tourism sector.
To ensure a faster and more convenient process for all investors, numerous measures have been put in place. Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando speaking about these initiatives highlighted some of the key policies designed to encourage international investment and expedite the process.
“This new era of strategic investment is like nothing the country has seen before and is set to launch Sri Lanka’s tourism sector into a brave new future. We have taken great care to streamline the investment process, so it is more in line with what international investors expect. This includes a master document which merges the requirements of all government agencies into a single easy to use application for investors.” She shared.
By removing previous hurdles, streamlining the entire process for greater efficiency, and ensuring absolute transparency, the government has given investors a clear route. This provides interested parties with the guarantee they need when considering the long-term viability of their investment. SLTDA has also established an Investment Relations Unit (IRU) to expedite the approval of all tourism investments. This provides greater clarity on regulatory issues and allows investors to form a direct partnership with the administrative body.
As Sri Lanka positions itself as the ideal destination for post covid travel, these investments, and the subsequent revenue they generate will empower communities and benefit local economies all across the island.