The SLTDA spent Rs. 20 million for the project benefitting over 1000 tourists visiting the beach on a weekly basis. It also strengthens Talaimannar’s potential of becoming a key tourism hub in the Northern Province.Commenting on the initiative, SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka said, “This may be a relatively small investment and a brief ceremony. But every long journey starts with one single step. This signals we have larger plans for tourism development in the Northern province and we are ready to facilitate its growth. This is also a continuation of the comprehensive plan we initiated by bringing the World Tourism Day state celebration to Jaffna. We deeply appreciate the generous support extended by the Northern Province Chief Minister and his staff.” (Colombo Gazette) The Comfort Centres, which marked the first step of a larger infrastructure development programme, were declared open by Tourism Development and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga and Wigneswaran. The brief ceremony was also attended by local government heads, provincial tourism authorities and senior state officials in the area. SLTDA said that as part of its comprehensive plans to develop tourism in the Northern Province, the SLTDA declared open the newly constructed Comfort Centres at Talaimannar for the use of local and foreign tourists visiting the beach. Northern Province Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran has sought support to boost tourism in the Northern Province.Wigneswaran said his province had immense potential to transform into a compelling and competitive tourism hub and requested the central Government’s support to develop the sector, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said in a press statement today.