News ≫ Sri Lanka Plans Its Own Mini Vegas

Sri Lanka Plans Its Own Mini Vegas

Dec 30, 2014
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In the heart of Colombo, next to a lake, John Keells Holdings, Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate, has giant excavators preparing the foundation for its new resort, the biggest in the country.

The $820 million project–the largest investment by a domestic company here–includes an 800-room luxury hotel, conference venues, a shopping mall, residential apartments, an office complex and the special attraction for Asia’s offshore tourist trade: a casino.

Since the end in 2009 of a 26-year civil war that gripped much of the attention on Sri Lanka, foreigners are rediscovering the island nation’s swaying palm trees, stunning views of the Indian Ocean and spicy food.

Tourist arrivals grew more than 20% a year from 2009 to 2012, versus 5% from 2004 to 2008, says Acuity Stockbrokers in Colombo. Last year was another banner increase–tourist arrivals hit 1.3 million in the year ending in March, with Chinese visits especially picking up. India remains the largest source.

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