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Monday, January 26, 2015 - 8.20 GMT

Easing of ban on foreign tourists to North & East brings benefits


The easing of the ban on foreign tourists travelling to the North and East would bring in unprecedented benefits to the economy in the region say hoteliers investors and the chambers.

The Northern Province needs assistance to develop the fisheries, agriculture and several other sectors to international levels, said C. Sivagnanam, Chairman Northern Provincial Council.

Speaking at the opening of the three day sixth edition of the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF), new President of Yalpanam Chamber of Commerce, Kularatnam Vignesh welcomed this move and said that firstly it was fulfilling one of the election pledges to the country.

“We have a lot from the Diaspora who have already started joint ventures with foreigners overseas and they can now look at starting businesses and opening regional officers in the North. For this now they can travel here to have a firsthand insight of the investment climate,” he said.

Vignesh also welcomed the move to open up dual citizenship programs which would enable the Diaspora to invest or open up regional officers here.

He also said that the move would also bring in high spenders not only as tourists but as investors. “|In addition the move would also help attract foreign experts to conducted seminars and technical events.”

He also said that steps should be taken to develop the Palaly Airport to accommodate international airlines.

Managing Director, Wetti Yajan, Hotel Lux Etoiles of Jaffna that has the biggest swimming pool in the region said that the hotel is now maintaining high occupancies due to the arrival of foreigners. “This has given me confidence to reinvest in the excess of Rs 150 million to add more luxury rooms and apartments this year.”

“I am also modifying a double decker bus to be ready in March to introduce city tours to Jaffna for the first time. In addition I would also open another Italian Pizza outlet next month to cater to the high demand.”

Meanwhile an official from the star class TElCO Hotel said that with the relaxing of the ban for tourists to travel to Jaffna they are already witnessing increase in foreign arrivals and this would certainly help their bottom line. “It would also help to enhance our standards.”

Meanwhile an investor involved in the prawn sector said that a Canadian investor is coming to visit him to explore the possibility of direct exports. He is now confident in investing here.






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Last modified: January 26, 2015.

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