John wants Colombo nightlife spiced up

13 June 2019 12:51 pm - 15     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga yesterday urged the industry stakeholders to actively look at introducing activities to spice up the nightlife for tourists, so that more would be keen on visiting the country.

Pointing out that the common complaint, mostly from Indian authorities, is that there are not many entertainment activities to keep tourists occupied, Amaratunga stressed that this area requires increased attention.

“Our casinos are no doubt an attraction to many Indians but the complaint I get from the Indian authorities is that there isn’t enough entertainment in the city of Colombo. That is why more Indians go to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia since younger people look for entertainment in the night,” said the minister.

“I have been telling the City Hotels Association that they should start their nightclubs. I don’t know why they are not doing it. No one is objecting it so they (hoteliers) need to be more serious about starting nightclubs,” he added.

Hotels in Sri Lanka operated nightclubs and bars up until a few years ago and halted operations after the government through a budget proposal imposed a levy of Rs.100,000 for every hour of bar operation.

Speaking to Mirror Business, City Hotels Association President M. Shanthikumar said that there are no issues in carrying out activities to promote nightlife other than the hefty fee imposed by the Excise Department.

“It became expensive for the hotels to continue as it was not commercially viable to pay Rs.100,000 every hour. This resulted in many hotels shutting down bar operations,” shared Shanthikumar.

The levy was imposed as a means to generate revenue for the government.

Shanthikumar said presentations have been made to the government to do away with the levy and such is expected to be scrapped in coming months. (SAA)

  Comments - 15

  • thelittlebluepill Thursday, 13 June 2019 12:58 PM

    Bugger must be looking for new pick up spots

    ANTON Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:02 PM


    Saranga Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:16 PM

    Bring hookers down problem will be sold

    Anmanpan Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:21 PM

    Another one qualifying for the political trash can.

    Sas Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:31 PM

    The guys that banned Casinos are asking for it. LOL Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:36 PM

    Please remove the Christian Religious Affairs from this Viagra king. Shame to our Catholic community.

    Sando Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:37 PM

    Must be the platform for Prostitution and Red Light Districts..... much against our Culture. Nature and Culture...must be the platform.

    Dee Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:38 PM

    At the rate we are going, not only tourist but even locals will go to BKK or KL. We have virtually nothing to attract.

    chams Thursday, 13 June 2019 01:59 PM

    Yeah right, you have full rights to talk about it!

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 13 June 2019 02:38 PM

    This is another old codger who personally befitted staying in Politics than developing the nation.

    Tariq Thursday, 13 June 2019 03:26 PM

    yes we understand you are desparate

    Lord Wolfstein Thursday, 13 June 2019 04:17 PM

    Eliminate the laws against prostitution. Prostitution is not against the culture of Sri Lanka, it was against the colonial Victorian culture. Negombo and Pattaya (Thailand) were both fishing villages 40 years ago. Negombo is still a fishing village while Pattaya is now a booming tourist town with a modern infrastructure of western standard and over 10 million tourists a year. And unlike Negombo, tourists are safe there.

    Suggestion Thursday, 13 June 2019 04:19 PM

    Sri Lanka's RED LIGHT DISTRICT is a must.

    Sambo Thursday, 13 June 2019 06:38 PM

    Here are a few tips to increase tourism in Sri Lanka. Increase the Taxes, Increase Liquor Prices, Increase the levy on liquor licenses and tax every night club which is opened after midnight. Close bars on every religious days. This is happening now.

    Channa Thursday, 13 June 2019 06:54 PM

    We know what he is talking about , probably he may have fed up with the girls he has already tried

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