Sri Lanka in ‘Coast to Coast’ Adventure Tourism Push…
Sri Lanka national carrier and Lanka Sportreizen, a travel firm is planning an annual cross-country adventure tournament in an effort to boost tourism in the country, officials said.
“We like to encourage more adventure tourists to come into Sri Lanka,” G T Jeyaseelan, Chief Marketing officer of SriLankan Airline said.
Lanka Sportreizen which already caters to tourists provide adventure, nature, water sports, mountain biking, hiking estimates about 15 to 20 percent of tourists coming to Sri Lanka gets involved in adventure and sports.
“There is a huge interest on Adventure tourism,” D K R Dharmapala, Chief Executive of Lanka Sportreizen said.
“So I think this is the right time and we will have two tours per year.”
They want to call the event ‘Coast to Coast’
The firm invited David Wise, an international photographer and travel writer to for a travel event.
The group bicycled and hiked across Sri Lanka from Negombo in the West Coast to Passikudah in
“It was a fantastic experience of biking,” Wise told reporters in Colombo. “You might find this kind of events take place in other countries, but you don’t get the atmosphere like in Sri Lanka.”
Wise had climbed the Sri Pada Mountain (Adam’s Peak), where Buddhists believe Lord Bhudda had visited. Wise stayed in houses of villagers throughout his journey to the mountain.
“We stayed two days in ambalama (traditional places of rest for travellers in the past when motorized transport was not available) and hiked Adam’s Peak in different routes while stopping at local homes for meals,” he said.
“They welcomed us warmly.”
Jeyaseelan said the country had to develop different niches to draw more tourists.
“Sri Lanka needs to move away from the traditional tourism if we are to attract and achieve the 2.6 billion tourist target in 2016,” Jeyaseelan said.
“We have a beautiful nature and people are very friendly.”
“So I think, adventure tourism products will help not only to attract tourists but also will give a chance for rural folk to earn something out of it.”
Last year 1.2 million tourists visited Sri Lanka up 27 percent from a year earlier, continuing a boom seen since the end of a 30-year war in 2009.