Beira Lake area to be converted to a major entertainment destination

The Beira Lake area would be converted to a major entertainment destination, Minister of Tourism and Lands, Harin Fernando told.

He said that this task was handed over to him personally by President Ranil Wickremesinghe who was keen to develop this area as a major entertainment destination similar to Clarke Quay River in Singapore which offers amusement, dining and entertainment.

“We are also keen to have a few floating restaurants, entertainment options, street food corners and other amusement options. We will facilitate international entertainment and hotel companies to start operations here.”

“We wish to create a special active district here without disturbing the cultural value of the country.”

Minister said that the cleaning and the maintenance of the Beira Lake would be done by the Urban Development Authority to ensure a clean environment to launch this operation.

He also said Extreme, a world-leading, purpose-driven adventure brand whose vision is to drive positive change through extreme and adventure sports, has signed up with Sri Lanka. This partnership will bring in high profile sport activities to Sri Lanka.”

They will help to introduce hot air ballooning, skydiving, Bunchy jumping and many other similar international sports activities to Sri Lanka which will encourage tourists to spend more for these activities.

He said that they aim to generate over USD 2.5 billion revenue with over 1.6 million arrivals for 2023 and hope to increase this to 2.5 million arrivals and USD 4 billion revenue for 2024 elevating Tourism as the second best forex earner for Sri Lanka beating the apparel sector.

The Minister said that they will also look at new tourism source destinations in Japan, Korea and Australia to woo more high spending tourists to Sri Lanka. “Of the total number of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, 33% are repeat guests and we promoted our marketing concept ‘Sri Lanka Come back for more’ in a more focused manner and also marketed ‘Sri Lanka a safe destination to travel’ from the WTM platform.

He said while more airlines are adding Colombo to their radar several international hotel chains too are making inquiries to open in Sri Lanka and “since I am also the Minister of Lands we are able to offer them land with minimum red tape and at better conditions.”