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Sri Lanka in talks to have South Asia’s first Disneyland in Hambantota – report

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A team from Disneyland has agreed to travel to Sri Lanka in November to discuss opening the first Disneyland in South Asia in Hambantota.

“Diana (State Tourism Minister) walking the talk! Team from Disneyland have AGREED to visit #SriLanka in Nov. to hold discussions on setting up South Asia’s 1st Disneyland in Hambantota!” tweeted Sri Lankan journalist Jamila Husain.

Diana Gamage will be visiting US soon to discuss plans for the USD 18 billion investment following an invitation from Walt Disney,” she added.

She was invited by Alexia S. Quadrani, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at the Walt Disney Company, local media reported, adding that the State Minister had earlier written to Walt Disney Company inviting them to set up a Disneyland in Sri Lanka.

“Following your request, we at the Walt Disney Company have agreed to visit Sri Lanka during late November this year to hold a series of exploratory meetings to understand the financial feasibility of setting up a regional Disneyland in Hambantota,” Quadrani said in a letter to the State Minister.

A delegation from Disney is expected in November this year, the report said.

Quadrani said that, while unable to provide exact details, an investment would be in the range of $16-18 billion. This would provide much needed financial injection to Sri Lanka in order to mitigate the dollar crisis, the statement said.

She said that this project would boost Sri Lanka’s tourism sector.

The island nation of 22 million people is facing unprecedented crisis due to economical & political turmoil. The country is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

Notably, Sri Lanka tourism will get a huge exposure after the country won the hosting rights for ‘Miss Tourism World – International Finale 2022’ in Colombo.

Croatia and Russia, which were the other two countries shortlisted to host the 75th edition of the ‘Miss Tourism World 2022’ global pageant, had voluntarily opted out to allow Sri Lanka to host this event, reported a local newspaper.

This was because these two countries knew that the event would play a major role towards tourism revival in Sri Lanka, said Global Director of ‘Miss Tourism World – International Finale 2022’, David Singh.

Sri Lanka will host the event from December 8-21 with winners from 80 countries giving a destination value to Sri Lanka of nearly USD 40 million.

During the pageant, they will visit all the important places of tourism in Sri Lanka including Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Habarana, Ella, Arugam Bay, Mirissa, and Galle he said. This will in turn promote these destinations as well, the report said.


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