Monday, 16 January 2012

Jaffna: Removing the Scars of War

Jaffna Welcomes You Arch in Navatkulli
Peace is one of the basic preconditions for sustainable development. Sustainable tourism and peace go hand in hand. Peace provides the basis for travel, whereas war and conflict disrupt tourist activity. Very often tourism is used a means to regenerate war-affected areas, or develop conflict resolution processes. Peace is also essential for the preservation of the environment and biodiversity, both of which are casualties of war.

In Jaffna after thirty years of war and conflict the restaurants are reopened for tourists and new hotels are under construction to cope with the influx of tourists. The current Influx of both domestic and foreign tourists to Jaffna has brought about a boom in the hospitality industry last two years. 

A bullet ridden building in Jaffna
The broken roads and bullet ridden buildings are still visible in Jaffna and the people are still uncertain about what happened and their own futures.The only change Jaffna has seen since the war officially ended is a boom in tourism. Hundreds of people from other parts of Sri Lanka and from August 2010 onwards foreigners are also going to Jaffna out of curiosity to see the situation there after three-decades of devastating war. According to media reports nearly 500,000 tourists visited Jaffna last year for various reasons. Whatever the reason be, post-war Jaffna with its large number of guest houses, rest houses and a few star class hotels welcome the world to see Jaffna after the war and its potential for development. 

Palaly Airport
The rapid increase in tourist arrivals to Jaffna, the hoteliers and tourism officials believe that Jaffna requires more hotel rooms offering comfort with an efficient service at a competitive price for travellers. The local and foreign investors are keen in this matter and local investor the Green Grass Hotel management is planning to build a new hotel comprising 27 rooms in Jaffna with an investment of Rs 60 million and another luxury-hotel chain Jetwing, plan to build a new luxury hotel in the north.

Recently renovated Gnanams Hotel in Jaffna Town
Many local residents request to the Tamils around the world is to invest and start businesses in Jaffna and help the war-ravaged region. However the war is over there is still doubt among those well- to-do Tamils in the diaspora to return to Sri Lanka. The authorities must give the assurance that the country is completely free from war and further to attract the investors and businesses in this former conflict zone, the government must quickly build the infrastructure facilities and transport including the domestic airlines to Jaffna.

At present around 500 people have been employed in the hotel and tourism sector in Jaffna and many direct and indirect employment opportunities will be generated if there are more investors arrived to this part of the country. However considering the development and the investments taking in action, very soon Jaffna will be the main Tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. In here Tourism is not just a source of money in this part of Sri Lanka; it will support the peace and stability of the region.

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