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Sri Lanka: 'Integrated Tourism Development - The Way Forward'
Source: http://www.dailynews.lk/
Source Date: Monday, December 23, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Sri Lanka
Created: Dec 24, 2013

Most Asian countries including the recently emerging like Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are marketing casino and golf tourism as part of the integrated tourism package, said President Chamber of Construction Industry, Sri Lanka (CCI) Dr.Surath Wickramasinghe at the launch of the Build Sri Lanka 2014 and the Construction Industry Trade and Business Directory at the Hotel Taj Samudra.

"We do not have mega casino or golf tourism Projects, but only a few casinos in Colombo while there are many bookie gambling opportunities for horse racing in most parts of Sri Lanka. Casino tourism caters for a select band of tourists mainly from the developed and developing Asian Countries including China. "In fact, in Singapore, Malaysia and other countries gaming taxes by the Government is mandatory. In addition, a Casino Regulatory Authority monitors casino operations to prevent the negative aspects of damage to the social fabric, money laundering, prostitution, alcoholism, distribution of drugs, domination of organized crime, illegal money lending and also introduces a mechanism to control local participation. With this concept the security for tourists could be ensured and the benefits to Sri Lanka would be greater than the dangers from casino tourism."

"Golf tourism vacations is the latest enthusiasm among the elite in business, professionals and the sports loving public.We must definitely make it a policy to promote tourism to encourage investors to invest in golf courses by facilitating to source land in proximity to tourism complexes in different parts of Sri Lanka."

"Even in Singapore, which has limited land resources, there are over 20 golf courses. In Thailand there are over 100 branded golf courses, in Bangkok, Chiang- Mai, Pattaya and Phuket."

"This same concept could be adapted in Sri Lanka as we could transmit the races to South Asia and the Middle East and include race courses as part of the Integrated Tourism Development Project."

"In Sri Lanka, at present we are trying to promote tourism within a restricted outlook of marketing only beaches, wild life reserves and cultural sites. This type of tourism will limit the attraction of the numbers and high end tourists. The majority of at least 50% of the different age groups will need more fun, sports and adventure including Eco - oriented Tourism."

"Therefore, Sri Lanka should promote investment in Integrated Tourism Development Projects in four or five selected locations."

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