Sri Lanka Tourist Board has initiated measures to lease 10 islands in Kalpitiya area in the island's northwestern coast in a bid to encourage new projects to develop tourism in the country.
Sources reveal that 11 parties have sent in applications to take on lease of the 10 islands in Kalpitiya.
The Chairman of the Tourist Board Dr. Nalaka Godahewa told media that 11 applications have been received by the closing of the December 3rd to submit proposals.
The applications have been forwarded to the cabinet for its recommendations, said Dr. Godahewa adding that he expected cabinet approval for the lease of the islands by January.
Government sources say the islands are to be leased for periods of 30 to 50 years.
The Ministry expects to develop 14 islands in Kalpitiya area under the Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort Project (KITRAP).
Kalpitiya, the stretch of land planked between the sea on one side and the lagoon on the other side, and the nearby islets in the Puttalam District will be developed under the KITRP as a major tourist destination similar to Bali in Indonesia, according to tourism officials.