January 2 - The iconic South African gambling and tourist resort,
Sun City, will
be expanding into the Asian market, according to a Reuters
report released last week.
According to the report, Sun City will invest the princely sum of
$800 million in Sri Lanka's tourism market, and this was confirmed by the
country's Tourism Board.
"Sun City of South Africa is now going to make an $800 million
investment in a 200 acre private property," confirmed the head of the state
owned tourism board, Nalaka Godahewa regarding Sun City's investment in Sri
Sri Lanka was embroiled in a 25 year war which ended in May 2009.
Since then the island nation has been looking for ways to encourage tourism, and
has turned to a number of international groups, offering attractive incentives
in return for investment.
Sun City, which is owned by the leading South African gaming and
hotels entity, Sun International Ltd, will be making the biggest investment ever
made in the country's leisure sector.
According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Board, the property purchased by
Sun City is located in Katana, 15 km north of Colombo on the coast, within the
The Tourism Board said that the "decision is finalised."
"This is one of the biggest investments," added Godahewa.
Sun City Yet to Comment on Sri Lanka Investment
While the Sri Lankan Tourism Board was willing to confirm Sun
City's investment in its tourism market, the gambling resort opted to keep mum
about its plans for the moment.
The company replied to a request for comments by Reuters
that it would not provide any further information until the new year.
Sun City's investment will mark entry into a thriving and
exciting new market which saw a record 820,000 tourists visit last year.
"[In 2012], more than the number, we are concerned about the
revenue," said Godahewa. "So the expectation is to hit $1 billion revenue and
perhaps 950,000 arrivals."
Sri Lanka is hoping to reach a target of 2.5 million visitors by
2016, and expects each tourist to spend around $1,100.
Sun City is considered one of South Africa's most popular gaming
resorts, drawing thousands of visitors each year to its four hotels, which
incorporate the five star Palace of the Lost City and The Cascade Hotels.
The famous Southern African 'gambling Mecca' boasts two casinos, both of them
open daily. The Jungle Casino boasts 250 slot machines, while the Sun City Hotel
Casino has 330 machines in both smoking and non smoking venues. In addition, the
casinos offer blackjack, poker, punto banco and American Roulette.
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