President Ranil Wickremesinghe says a programme will be prepared to attract local and foreign tourists by modernizing the government-owned resorts and tourist bungalows and using them to promote tourism. 

Delivering the 2024 Budget Speech in Parliament on Monday (13), he proposed the allocation of Rs. 600 million for these development activities. 

The Head of State said that after the economic crisis, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is making a progress. “We need to make a number of changes in the field of tourism based on the location, climate, and historical heritage of our country.” 

He said a new tourism culture should be created by overcoming the traditional functions of renting hotel rooms, providing spaces to enjoy beach experiences and showing Sigiriya. A number of steps that lay the foundation for that are included in this year’s budget document, he said.

He said it is expected to implement a long-term program in a new form under “Visit Sri Lanka” from 2024 to promote the tourism sector. 

“Our expectation is to bring at least five million tourists to Sri Lanka every year. To facilitate this, the government, provincial councils, and local government institutions should do a lot of work. Also, we are working to adopt a new law regarding the tourism sector.” 

The President said a provision of one billion rupees is given for these works.

He said the responsibilities of meeting the basic needs of the tourism sector are assigned to the Provincial Councils and that provincial tourism boards are being strengthened for that. 

An amount of Rs. 750 million is allocated for the development of related infrastructure, he said adding that necessary support is given to the Provincial Councils through the Finance Commission.

He said there are more than 720 government-owned resorts and tourist bungalows that can provide approximately 3,750 rooms. 

“I also propose to prepare a program to attract local and foreign tourists by modernizing the government resorts and using them to promote tourism. I propose to allocate Rs. 600 million for these development activities,” he said in the budget speech. 

Pinnawala- Kithulgala Tourism Corridor 

Wickremesinghe said that the Kithulgala Water rafting Area, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and other tourist attractions around it are being developed as a tourist zone, and that the Rambukkana entrance of the Central Expressway is used for that purpose. 

The proposed Galigamuwa New Town is being promoted as the hub of this tourism region, he said, while pointing out that an amount of Rs. 750 million is allocated to implement this project as a joint program within a period of 3 years.

Pooneryn City Development

President said that the government will provide Rs. 500 million for the development of Pooneryn  City, which is a very important town for tourism, located near the Sangupiddy Bridge on the Jaffna – Mannar main road.

Budget in sri lanka parliament