Hotel industry vies to become country’s biggest investor by 2020

23 June 2017 10:17 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The industry association of Sri Lanka’s hoteliers and the leading lobby group of the country’s tourism sector this week claimed that their industry will become the largest investor in the Sri Lankan economy by 2020.
“The industry has invested US$ 3 billion in the country. This is expected to increase by another US$ 1.5 billion by 2020. This means in Sri Lankan rupees, over Rs.700 billion. This is by far the highest investment any single sector has made in the country,” THASL Chairman Sanath Ukwatte said.
The news would likely generate elation among government authorities, since the country is currently struggling to attract investments from both local and 
foreign parties.
While US$ 4.5 billion could become one of the largest investments in Sri Lanka by 2020, the telecommunications industry which has 6 operators, had already invested over US$ 4.44 billion by the end of 2016, with the two largest players, Dialog Axiata and Sri Lanka Telecom contributing approximately US$ 3.5 billion.
The telecommunications industry technology changes rapidly, requiring rapid investments, and given Sri Lanka’s increasing appetite for data, given the increasing urbanization and changing lifestyle patterns, further investments may be required in infrastructure in the future.
Further, given the increasing Chinese influence to start a multi-billion dollar industrialization drive in Sri Lanka, the leisure industry may even find itself competing with more industries to claim the top spot of the investment bragging order, if such investments are realized.
Ukwatte’s hope is that that the tourism industry, which generated US$ 3.52 billion in foreign earnings last year, will become the largest foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka by 2020 backed by the projected investments, overtaking foreign remittances, which earn around US$ 7 billion annually. (CW)

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