Published on : Thursday, April 21, 2016
Tourism Consultant Srilal Miththapala said all the efforts of ecotourism are being ignored by tourists. Though hotels preserve their private beaches and there is a lot of work in developing eco-tourism but people get most attracted to the obvious attractions in Sri Lanka. Hotels in the beach areas are most in demand. Looking after the trend nearly 9,000 hotel rooms already exist in the coastal areas and an increase of 12,600 is expected by 2018.
Miththapala is weary on whether Sri Lanka will be able to maintain its tourist arrival targets by 2020. He feels that though the state tourism is having great plans but there are problems in implementation and therefore there has to be participation from the private sector through which attractive tourism opportunities can be enhanced.
“I think there are a lot of opportunities for investors. We need to set up a database of the informal sector to record what goes on with the turtle hatcheries, kite surfing, whale watching and water sports,” Miththapala said. Social media and online bookings are bringing in more tourists to Arugam Bay and Kalipinya.
He also pointed out that new projects along the marine areas could increase tourism. Marine information centres could better educate international tourists on what more they can expect to find.