Eastern Sri Lanka included The New York Times' list of recommended travel destinations

Originally published on January 8, 2016.

Amaranthé Bay Resort on Sri Lanka's East Coast received a grant and capacity building support from VEGA/BIZ+.
The East Coast of Sri Lanka was profiled in The New York Times' list "52 Places to Go in 2016", published Thursday, January 7, 2016. Sri Lanka's Eastern Province is one of the regions targeted by the VEGA/BIZ+ program, which aims to create jobs and increase incomes in Sri Lankan communities affected by conflict by providing investment grants and capacity building to small and medium-sized businesses. Tourism is one of nearly a dozen sectors that VEGA/BIZ+ has supported to date.

In Uppuveli, a growing tourist destination in Sri Lanka about four miles from Trincomalee, VEGA/BIZ+ provided $488,000 to open Amaranthé Bay, a 30-room boutique hotel. The program's support extended beyond funds for construction, providing the hotel assistance with marketing and the development of their human resource management strategy, as well as ensuring high standards of environmental compliance. This partnership has created over 100 full-time jobs and benefited 33 local microenterprises.

At the southern end of the Eastern Province, VEGA/BIZ+ provided technical assistance to Ecowave Travel (Pvt.) Ltd. to develop and market local tours in Arugam Bay, creating over 20 new employment opportunities. In addition, the program co-funded the research and development of the Eastern Province Geotourism MapGuide, which promotes sustainable tourism.

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