SRI LANKA: Marine tourism master plan announced

Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have announced a marine tourism master plan which, according to local media, includes partnership with the Sri Lankan Navy and the Chamber of Marine Industries.

“Sri Lanka is poised to embark on a journey to position the island country as a premier destination for marine tourism,” said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) chairman Chalaka Gajabahu. Assuring proactive measures, Gajabahu revealed that the Ministry has crafted a comprehensive plan for marine tourism in 2024 and awaits completion of regulatory reviews before implementation. “This strategic blueprint encompasses tourism investments, equipment, transportation and infrastructure development,” he added.
The Chamber of Marine Industries aims to promote boating among Sri Lankans and make the country a boat manufacturing hub said the chairman of the chamber Indhra Kaushal Rajapaksa in media interviews. He further highlighted the chamber's plans to develop small boat launch facilities, promote marina development, and host boat exhibitions in the near future.
Rajapaksa added that Sri Lanka has a good boat manufacturing base and the chamber hopes to promote boat ownership among its citizens. In conversation with The Daily Morning Business, he said that if the Government loosens strict laws and allows international yachtsmen to visit the country, maritime tourism will grow. But at the moment even Sri Lankans do not want to sail around the country as it lacks safe mooring facilities and essential amenities, and more and more regulations are required to get permission to sail around the coast.
There is scope for vessels of all sizes to cruise the coastline. Priyantha Perera, who heads up Asia Pacific Superyachts Sri Lanka, comments: “Government and the yachting community and industry all agree Sri Lanka has tremendous potential to realise its vision of becoming a maritime hub in the region. There is a focus on opening up to cruising tourism. The many regulations concerning tender boat operations and the lack of anchorages suitable for superyachts held back significant superyacht cruising, which now actually adds to its attraction as a stunning adventure cruising destination.”


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