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A Tourism Cluster Initiative

In the year 2000, The Competitive Initiative (TCI) was launched by USAID at the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka to enhance the potential of the tourism profile of the country.

Stakeholders of the tourism industry were clustered in the form of The Tourism Cluster (TTC), to increase competitiveness and to bring them together to develop joint initiatives that explored diversification of the industry. As such, TTC strategized targeting the higher-end segments of the tourism market through ecotourism.

A multi-sector working group including TTC, leading academia and the forest department was formed with the goal of developing a model for future ecotourism in Sri Lanka. Proceeding further, in 2002, a location in the Sinharaja Division of the Enselwatta Estate in Deniyaya owned by the Mathurata Plantations (Pvt) Ltd was selected. The initial investment for development was put together by nine companies including five leading tourism companies in Sri Lanka. After extensive studies the designs were developed to construct the facility using eco-friendly material with minimum disturbance to the natural habitat. The responsibility of facilitating this programme was assigned to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Rainforest Ecolodge was opened to the public in January 2012.