Fifty four new investment proposals related to the tourism sector with a total value of US$ 879 million had been received in the past one and half years despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.
Out of those proposals, 29 projects with a total of US$ 188 million investments have already been granted approval by the Tourism Development Authority, he said.
Among those projects are proposals for constructing cable cars, floating markets and underwater galleries. He said the Government has expedited approvals for tourism related investment projects. He added that preliminary agreements are to be signed with 43 public institutions shortly.
The Tourism Development Authority has also set up a new Unit to guide investors on the procedure for getting approval for their projects. The new Unit will intervene to ease and expedite the investment approval procedure by avoiding red tape seen in the public sector.
The Authority has signed agreements with the Board of Investment, Coastal Conservation Department, National Building Research Organisation, Central Environmental Authority, Wildlife Conservation Department, Archaeological Department, Agrarian Services Department and the Irrigation Department to work collectively for this purpose.