City of Galle also to see reclamation of land from sea-by Sanath Nanayakkare
New tourist city designed to span on 40 hectares of reclaimed land
An investment of US$175 million sought to complete it in three years
The government of Sri Lanka last week invited investors across the world to come and invest in building an exclusive tourist port in the ancient city of Galle in the South of Sri Lanka, founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century and extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century.
“An investment of US$175 million is sought to establish the tourist city to attract more foreign cruise vessels to boost tourism. Return on investment (ROI) from the project is to be ensured with promising demand for marina infrastructure developments and real estate developments connected with tourism,”a panel of speakers addressing the hybrid investment symposium told the potential investors.
The speakers were from Sri Lanka Ports Authority, The Board of Investments, experts knowledgeable on foreign direct investments, tax concessions and environmental aspects related to projects of this nature. They provided answers to questions from the audience that consisted of investors keen to do business with Sri Lanka.
“The proposed new tourist space is designed to span on 40 hectares of reclaimed land, taking a cue from the Port City of Colombo, Rohitha Abeygunawardana”, Minister of Shipping said.
“The project will transform Galle like Colombo in its economic and metropolitan significance creating dividends for all people in the region,” he said. The minister said that the government would be fully conscious of any environmental impacts, and therefore, the development would take place in accordance with environmental laws of the country.
“Sri Lanka Ports Authority’s plans include changing the existing port in Galle as a fully-fledged tourist port with a 150-metre length cruise berth, reclamation to increase Galle’s land area by another 40 hectares. It will feature a modern real estate business model and a state-of-the-art cruise terminal,” the panel told the participating investors.
“The project is open for potential investors through Expression of Interest (EOI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes ensuring a transparent bidding process,” they said.
“The proposed development project expects to avail fully-fledged facilities in the gulf of Galle to make possible the berthing of cruise ships, luxury yachts, boats, water sports and many more activities. In real estate development, this will be a ground-floor opportunity for investors to build water bungalows, villas, apartments, restaurants, hotels etc. The goal of this development project is to ensure that everything is within the leisure traveller’s reach,” they said.
“This is a unique and valuable investment opportunity to investors who are looking to thrive on the tourism sector and earn a higher return on their investment. The development venture is going to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for local communities sand help fulfill the macroeconomic objectives of achieving people-centric economic aspirations, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation and Galle District MP told The Island Financial Review.
The two minister assured that both local and foreign investors would be facilitated expeditiously when they have made their bids.
The project is to be completed in 3 years and the government expects the project will help increase annual tourist arrivals up to seven million.