Sunday, June 21, 2009

50 million-dollar, eco-resort for Batti on the way

By Dilshani Samaraweera

With the war ending, investors are ready to sink nearly US$ 50 million into a government-planned tourism development project for Batticaloa. Initial formalities on the Pasikudah resort, located on a 140 acre land owned by the national tourism authorities, have already started. The resort is expected to generate hundreds of new jobs in Batticaloa and will add about 700 new rooms to Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

“We have the money and we are ready to start. In total, this resort project is worth about US$ 50 million. These are upmarket, carbon-neutral hotels, with a future focus. Once the resort is operational it will bring a lot of benefits for the area.

Jobs will be created inside the resort and in other connected sectors and the hotels will buy things like food and fish, from the local communities, giving them regular incomes,” said the Chairman of the Pasikudah Tourism Development Association, Prasanna Jayawardene.

The Pasikudah Tourism Development Association is made up of seven investors lined up to develop eco-friendly, boutique hotels in the resort. More investors are waiting to enter the resort. The tourism authorities are now signing land lease agreements wih these investors.

“There are about 12 to 13 investors for the site and we are now signing land lease agreements with them. The investors have to start their preparatory work, like getting approvals from different agencies, within six months of signing their lease agreements,” said the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Bernard Goonatilake.

The tourism authorities are also looking for financing to provide infrastructure requirements for the site.
“The site needs a water supply. It will cost around Rs 350 million to lay new pipelines to bring in water and distribute it among 12 to13 different hotels. So we have already submitted a proposal to the World Bank for assistance.

But, in the meantime, we also made an initial payment to the relevant agencies to start work on the water supply,” said Mr Goonatilake. Pasikudah, located about 35 kilometres northwest of Batticaloa, used to be a popular tourist destination. The Pasikudah resort, is located near the Pasikudah Bay and is considered a prime tourism location.

2 comments:

Eco Resort said...

Interesting that such a hug project is going to be taken on, but good that it might bring a lot of benefits to the area. Eco resorts are definitely on the rise in the travel industry.

Arkitekton said...

I just hope that this too doesn't end up being one of those high-hoped, ill fated projects