BOI signs US$ 3bn deal for world-class tourism zone

5 July 2012 04:35 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has signed an agreement with tourism developer Katana City Developments (Pvt) Ltd., to assess and plan Sri Lanka’s first large-scale tourism zone in the Katana area, just adjacent to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport.

The airport will be connected to Katana City by a monorail, which will also be built by the developers.

The agreement entails the detailed analysis, feasibility planning and the fast track implementation of the infrastructure and legal arrangements to drive foreign direct investment into the project. The project will be known as Katana City.

The project is planned to include hotels, attractions, retail, parks and extensive entertainment, with all components integrated into a world-class master plan and enabled for success with suitable operating permits, tax benefits and transport connectivity.

The BOI's Chairman/Director General, M.M.C. Ferdinando stated, “Katana City will deliver an exciting tourism offering for high volume arrivals and the result will be a major step up in job creation (estimated to be over 10,000 when fully developed), tax revenue and tourist arrivals for this vitally important sector.”

Katana City Developments (Pvt) Ltd. has been promoted by a consortium headed by Asian Resorts & Casinos Singapore (ARC), a specialist large-scale tourism project developer. Katana City's Director, Prashanth Koorapati commented, “This project has been planned to put Sri Lanka's tourism offer on a par with Singapore and others in this region and additionally, we are planning to make sure that the concept adheres to a high standard of ecosensitivity and defines itself to show the best of Sri Lanka, not to just copy previous projects completed elsewhere.”

The components of the project shall be developed on a site of 200 acres close to the airport and there are hotels planned with over 2,500 rooms, multiple shopping centres and a host of other leisure and commercial elements. In due course, Katana City will have well in excess of US$ 3 billion in construction and investment.

Katana City Developments and the BoI have agreed to fast track the provision of legal conditions that will allow the project to be properly feasible and therefore, to also be implemented quickly. The BoI recognises that Sri Lanka's tourism sector is a major focus for growth and that the concept of an integrated resort development at Katana City will create faster growth with its attendant benefits for Sri Lankans.

The Katana City project is intended to be Sri Lanka's first impression for arriving tourists and also to warmly welcome local residents to benefit from the many attractions it will contain. The master plan allows for the very best of both international and Sri Lankan attractions to be presented to the world.

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