sun city to invest in sri lanka
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Sun City to Invest in Sri Lanka

Published on 2 Jan 2012 at 13:21

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 Lanka.

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 'hotel city'.

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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