Turbulent Sri Lanka opts for offshore tourism

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 September 2009, 10:54 GMT]
Some European investors and a Sri Lankan entrepreneur, relieved about the ‘end of war,’ are embarked upon building a 175 million dollar luxury tourist resort in the offshore tracts of the Dutch Bay in Katpiddi, media sources in Colombo reported Wednesday. The narrow stretch of land lying between the Dutch Bay and the Indian Ocean will have 60 chalets and 20 villas in the first phase, costing 1000-1500 dollars per night and will have 80 villas in the second phase to be sold to Arabs, Europeans and Sri Lankans as holiday or retirement homes. The Katpiddi region of the North Western Province was part of the Tamil homeland and even now is a territory of Tamil speaking people. Mr Neil de Silva, chairman of the project refused to say how much the investors paid for the land to the local people.

Swarna Dweep, a 51 percent shareholder of Dutch Bay Resorts, set up by European investors and the Sri Lankan entrepreneur, Neil De Silva, is a company established by Norwich International Consultants, a real estate business operating in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The resort, expected to be ready in 2011 will be managed by International luxury hotel chain Six Senses.

"Terrorism has cost tourism a lot. Top hotel chains and airlines left the country because of the conflict,” said Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion minister Faiszer Musthapha, adding, "Six Senses coming in would also attract others. We’re now talking with other international hotel operators. It is a matter of time before they come in."

Dutch Bay
[Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth, Legend: TamilNet]


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