Sri Lanka has become a trendy holiday destination once again, three years after the end of the civil war in 2009 and now the government and tourism officials are looking to develop the areas that were affected by the war into leading tourism zones.
Pasikuda is one of the areas that the government is keen to drive forward as a destination for Sri Lanka holidays. Situated on the east coast of the island, in the Batticaloa district, Pasikuda was a hotspot for travellers until 1983 with its stunning golden sand beaches and shallow turquoise ocean waters.
During the civil war, the area became desolate but it is now emerging as one of the leading spots for the ultimately relaxing holidays in Sri Lanka thanks to government initiatives and an investment of Rs. 650 million towards the development of the 150-acre Pasikuda Tourist Zone.
The region is already proving to be popular among foreign travellers, with tourists coming mainly from Europe after the Economic Development Ministry contributed Rs. 275 million from the above-mentioned investment amount towards the project. Private sector businesses are investing a further Rs. 6.53 billion which will go towards the construction of 14 new Sri Lanka hotels and 930 rooms.
The design of the Pasikuda Tourist Zone has already been finalised by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be prepared for the resort.
As well as providing a new resort for international tourists wishing to embark on luxury holidays to Sri Lanka, the development will also create new jobs for hundreds of locals in the Eastern province.
Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said: “With the upsurge in tourist arrivals to the Zone the people around the area will get economically strengthened.”
Before the civil war broke out, Pasikuda beach had three hotels with 171 rooms. At the time plans were underway to develop a further 500 rooms in the area but the riots in 1983 put a stop to this.
A shopping mall, art gallery, aquarium, open-air theatre, cycle path and golf course are also expected to be built within the new tourism zone being curently created in Pasikuda.
Plans are also underway to develop Nilaweli, and Arugam Bay beaches which are also located along the Eastern coast.
Sri Lanka has seen a significant general increase in the number of foreign travellers arriving to the island and in 2011, 855,975 arrivals were recorded.