SL initiates Community Based Tourism with Rs. 650 mn Korean grant
Sri Lanka has initiated a campaign to promote Community Based Tourism providing opportunity for travelers to explore the real local habitats, wildlife, and celebrates respects traditional cultures and rituals.
The tourism development authority is especially focusing attention on this promotion campaign, chairman of the authority Priynatha Fernando said adding that this initiative will supplement the tourism revival plan targeting over 800000 arrivals.
The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Monday approved entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korean Tourism Organisation and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority to implement a community-based tourism project.
“SLTDA has proposed the implementation of a community-based tourism development project under the sponsorship of the Korean Tourism Organisation focusing on the Kuchchaveli tourism development areas owned by the Authority,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at the post-Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
He said a delegation of the Korean Tourism Organisation has conducted a feasibility study on the relevant project proposal and South Korea has agreed to provide financial assistance to the tune of 2.172 billion South Korean won (around Rs. 650 million) for the implementation of the entire proposed project.
“In the first phase, it has been agreed to provide a grant of 400 million South Korean won for the preparation of the overall plan of the relevant tourism development project, the preparation of the training and the implementation of a pilot training program,” he added.
Gunawardena said at a time when Sri Lanka is struggling to get loans following the worst financial crisis, the grant by South Korea is a great support to boost the triple-hit tourism industry.
The proposal to this effect submitted by Tourism Minister Harin Fernando was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday.
SLTDA action plan for Kuchchaveli won first place for the best sustainable tourism action plan at the High-Level Policy Forum on Tourism Development 2018, organised by the Korean government and Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), in Seoul.
Kuchchaveli is enriched with attractive coastal topographical features and biodiversity which pave the way for many tourism opportunities in the area.
The concept developed by SLTDA aims at tapping into the area’s untapped potential without disrupting its authenticity, communities and their culture.
The action plan includes building a beach resort in Kuchchaveli and developing it as a model ‘green resort’ to give maximum benefits to the national economy while respecting the ecological, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability in the area.
Some of the main objectives of the action plan are to generate Rs. 5.9 billion annual income, 14,000 direct and 18,000 indirect employment opportunities and to add 4,000-4,500 rooms to meet future demand.
It also benefits the communities of the Kuchchaveli area and makes them the key players in the supply chain for the upcoming hotels in Kuchchaveli.
One of the successful hotels operating in the area is the 15-acre Jungle Beach Hotel by Uga Escapes which has 95% occupancy rate during the high season.
In order to generate more direct and indirect employment opportunities in the area, SLTDA has also planned a model fishing village in Kuchchaweli as 40% of the local community in the area are involved in the fisheries sector.
The proposed village is expected to attract tourists seeking authentic and unique tourism experiences in Sri Lanka.