The Government this week approved a proposal to develop Colombo as a cultural hub to attract tourists with a religious and cultural focus to the country.
Identifying the opportunities available to showcase Sri Lankan indigenous art and culture to tourists, which at present remain rather limited, the proposal seeks to introduce a “proper mechanism to organise events and attract tourists to participate in these events.”
According to the proposal presented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, in 2014 out of the total number of tourist arrivals only 0.01% visited the country for religious and cultural purposes.
The proposed committee will comprise the secretaries of the Ministries of Education, Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, representatives from the Finance and National Policies and Economic Affairs ministries, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman, National Youth Services Council Chairman, Vice Chancellor or Representative of the Visual and Performing Arts University and Chairman of the Colombo Cultural Hub Trust (CCHT), a charitable trust aimed at promoting Colombo in the global arena “as the recreation, performance and exhibition focal point of South Asia by creating a platform to perform and showcase the indigenous art and culture of the country.”
The paper also proposed entering into a public-private partnership with the CCHT to develop a cultural hub of South Asia in Colombo and provide financial and infrastructure assistance for the next three years.