Qatar to open hotels in Sri Lanka

Indo Asian News Service

Colombo, Dec 14 (IANS) Qatar plans to open luxury hotels in Sri Lanka to boost tourism cooperation, a senior minister said Tuesday.

Both sides have signed a number of agreements during the recent two-day visit by Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani to the country, said Sarath Amunugama, senior minister of international monetary cooperation.

He said the government will provide lands for the hotel projects. 'As a result of the relationship with Qatar, we will be able to take our tourism to a higher level,' Xinhua quoted Amunugama as saying.

To attract tourists from Middle East, Sri Lanka will increase air travel frequencies between the two countries, he added.

Tourism has grown rapidly in Sri Lanka since the end of the Tamil Tiger conflict in 2009. Tourists arrivals have hit an all-time high of 750,000.

The government plans to attract 2.5 million tourists by 2016 and increase the number of hotel rooms to 30,000 by 2015.