Colombo, Aug. 22 (Xinhua-ANI): Sri Lanka has introduced new land policy to attract foreign investment for tourism, a minister said on Wednesday.
Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, deputy minister for Economic Development, said the Cabinet has given nod to lease out state lands for hotel projects for foreign investors under 99 years lease agreement.
"The lands will be leased out on the prices valued by Government Chief Valuer," Abeygwardena said.
Sri Lanka's robust post-war tourism sector continued to grow, posting a 7.8 percent rise in July from a year earlier, according to government data.
During the first seven months of the year, Sri Lanka's tourism grew 16.7 percent in comparison to 2011 with UK tourists marking the second highest arrival rate behind India.
Meanwhile, revenue from tourism has increased 24.3 percent to 459.9 million U.S. dollars this year, according to the Central Bank.
With the demand, seven star class hotels including some eco- friendly branded have been opened this year and over 300 rooms were added to the industry. "This was over 27 million U.S. dollar investment on country's tourism," said Abeygwardena.
Sri Lanka has set ambitious targets of one million arrivals for 2012 with its rising to 2.5 million by 2016. Two billion U.S. dollars in earnings are also expected from the industry this year. (Xinhua-ANI)