The government will be assisting the private sector in building facilities for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) tourism.
“To encourage MICE, it is proposed to establish the necessary infrastructure to create a MICE Triangle consisting of the BMICH, Nelum Pokuna Theatre and the New Town Hall,” Finance Ministry Ravi Karunanayake said.
He said that companies engaged in MICE tourism will receive a five-year 50 percent tax holiday, while the government will also allocate Rs.3 billion towards the industry.
Karunanayake said that a new conference centre with a 7,500 seating capacity will be built at New Town Hall and an exhibition centre will be built in Battaramulla.
The past regime had also attempted to build the exhibition centre in Battaramulla, but had run into many issues.
Further, unlike the old-style convention centres such as the BMICH and the convention centre built in Hambantota under the past regime, new centres are large halls with technology and partition walls to adapt to either a conference or exhibition setting.