Sri Lankan entrepreneur Indhra Kaushal Rajapaksa has teamed up with marina professional Simon Arrol and Sebastian Devonshire to launch Marina Lanka – a new company dedicated to servicing the pleasure boating industry.
“Sri Lanka is about to get a major boost in its pleasure boating industry,” said Rajapaksa. “Although the port of Galle has for long been a port-of-call for yachtsmen from around the world, it has lacked the infrastructure and modern facilities. We plan to mobilize some of the best experience in the industry to give a major boost to yachting in Sri Lanka,” he added.
Marina Lanka which plans to set up marinas along Sri Lanka’s coastline participated in the Commonwealth Business Forum held recently in Colombo.
Sri Lanka has a coastline of about 1,300 km with many pristine bays, beaches, and lagoons, but apart from surfing and whale-watching there is almost no organised boating activity. With the provision of marinas at intervals around the coast, both Sri Lankans and foreign tourists will be better able to enjoy a range of activities such as sailing, motor-boating, blue-water fishing, and day trips. This will not only open up a whole new leisure and sporting sector for Sri Lankans, it will also make the country more attractive to foreign tourists, many of whom presently sit on the beach thinking how wonderful it would be to get out on the water. As to the value of this Arrol declares, “I am convinced this additional tourism activity will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year before the decade is out.”
So does this mean that the Government needs to find funds to build marinas? “Not at all,” assures Arrol. “The private sector can be relied on to build the marinas and waterfronts. As a marina developer, the only thing I ask is that the government facilitates the release of suitable sites and draft modern regulations so that yacht owning and operation is hassle-free for both domestic owners and foreign tourists.”
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