Eco tourism the fastest growing segment
Eco tourism, the fastest growing segment in Sri Lanka has a huge
potential and it is important to brand Sri Lanka for eco tourism to get
the maximum benefit, Ella Adventure Park, Chairman, Major Vijith
Welikala told Daily News Business.
Bird watching eco tourists
He said that there had been many foreign inquiries in this segment
since the war ended, and the country must be ready to meet this demand.
He said that eco tourism could be promoted in underdeveloped areas in
the country and therefore it is not necessary to invest heavily on this
Exploring the lesser known areas of Sri Lanka can get an immediate
boom, he said. This is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in the
industry, he said. However, if this is to be sustainable there should be
a strategy to protect the environment from eco terrorism and green
washing, he said.
Local bodies should get directly involved and benefit by eco tourism
and everything has to be knowledge based, as the visitors who come are
intellectuals and are high spenders. For example those visitors will
enjoy the sound of drums but they would want to know how the drum is
manufactured, he said.
There have been several inquiries from niche markets mainly for
adventure, eco and spiritual tourism and most of them are individual
An investment of Rs. 20 million has been received from a US citizen
to develop the Ella Adventure Park to 42 rooms to be ready by the end of
next year, Welikala said.