Published on : Monday, April 8, 2019
Sri Lanka will prosper in cruise tourism for its majestic marine scenic beauty, diversity of its product offering, access to sea ports located in Colombo, Galle, Hambantota and Trincomalee. The Minister of Tourism John Amaratunga and the Chairman of the Tourism Advisory Committee are keen on developing this important tourism segment to entice and attract more cruise ships to Sri Lanka. Around the world, the cruise tourism industry is projected to continue to grow throughout this year with an estimated 30 million travellers expected to cruise, up 6% from 28.2 million last year.
Much work needs to be done and they wish to facilitate and encourage the government for a cruise terminal and find ways to ease cruise procedures and spruce up the passenger terminal facilities.
Though Sri Lanka has four ports, it is important to find ways of developing the ports to compete with other reputed cruise destinations in the region. The Minister of Tourism in Sri Lanka and a high-ranking delegation met Cruise Director of the luxury Cruise Ship Silver Whisper, Norman Rasel Son to exchange ideas and find ways to increase the visits of cruise liners to Sri Lanka.
The luxury cruise ship Silver Whisper, part of the Silver Sea Cruise Liner Company called at the Colombo Port last week. Carrying 300 high end luxury passengers who are on an around the world voyage, the ship first called over at the Trincomalee harbour on Friday, March 22 before calling over at the Colombo port on Monday. The Silver Whisper boasts of amenities of a grand resort.
The charms of a stylish boutique hotel with world-class accommodations, shipboard conviviality and warm, individualised service, paired with the enhanced spaces and amenities of a larger ship.
The majority of the cruise passengers indulge in shore excursions to take a break from the sea journey and explore the country. Shore excursions such as the Geofrey Bawa tour, the Vice Roy tour on the diesel engine locomotive, visiting the historical Kelaniya temple, spending the day with the Pinnawela elephants and Exploring the city of Colombo were undertaken by these clients before they departed.
Sri Lanka attracts around 60 cruise calls a year out of which majority of the shore excursions is handled by Aitken Spence Travels the leading DMC in Sri Lanka. Among the others present were Head of the Tourism Committee D.H.S. Jayawardena, Head of Leisure Sector at Aitken Spence, Stasshani Jayawardena, Senior Advisor to the Minister, Felix Rodrigo, Managing Director of Micato, India, Micheal Haidar Ali, and Controller General of Immigration and Emigration, Nihal Ranasinghe.