Panaji: Paving way for tourism, Sri Lanka perceives the earlier war-prone Eastern province as a suitable region for tourism promotion, as it is bestowed with very beautiful beaches.

"Eastern is a virgin territory, it's a fantastic area with beach fronts where joint ventures or investments can work," said Prasad Kariyawasam, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India.

He said there is lot of confidence amongst investors in Sri Lanka as a destination.

"We have a board of investment, which is one-stop shop for this kind of needs," he said, adding that serious investors should visit the area and see for themselves.

Kariyawasam said there are massive tax holidays offered by the government and 100 per cent foreign ownership is allowed, besides approval for 100 per cent profit repatriation.

"Considering manpower shortage in the country, even foreign labours are allowed in this sector," he added.

Kariyawasam said areas of the country, both in the interiors as well as the coast, that were inaccessible to tourists for 30 long years are now opening up.

"This includes some of our best wildlife parks, and beaches on the East coast," he said.

The High Commissioner pointed out that the interest of international chains of hotels in Sri Lanka is increasing.

"The Shangri-La Chain has just gone into Sri Lanka. They paid upfront in convertible currency for the land that they purchased in the heart of Colombo," he added.

(Agencies)