- SLTPB and SLAITO take initiative to make Sri Lanka as a turnaround destination for cruise tourism
- Royal Caribbean Cruises, Royal Asian Cruises participate at the CIMC
In an aggressive and positive approach Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) has decided to initiate a strategy to develop cruise tourism of the country which would have multiple and ripple effects to the tourism industry and the economic development of the country.
The initiative was driven with the leadership of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala who decided to join and support the Colombo International Maritime Conference to give a new development and dimension for the maritime industry of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean is a well renowned maritime nation and tourist destination. Surrounded by many deep draught ports including one of the most beautiful and natural ports in Trincomalee it is an ideal location for high end cruise tourism.
Maritime analysts and industry experts believe that given the right environment and the location of the country which is known as one of the top tourist hot spots in the world, Sri Lanka now can develop into a turnaround destination for the luxury cruise tourism industry.
The geography of the country can service global cruises as well as regional cruises as there are multiple ports around the country, which can support the industry needs and add value to tour operators.
The challenge is to get the proper infrastructure, upgrade the standards of services and facilitate with high quality customs and embarkation and disembarkation process without any hindrance to passengers. International investors in the sector can develop cruise tourism terminals and facilities, provided land and investment climate is given to them. The Mattala International Airport as well as Hambantota port too can contribute to the development of cruise tourism as there are many synergies that can be put together for this purpose.
The CIMC will, highlight the opportunities for Sri Lanka in the maritime industry and will open up a new corridor of development opportunities for the tourism sector. The CIMC as well as SLAITO organisers intend to give a strong message to the government and policy makers to make the right decisions to use this new opportunity to make use of the maritime economy of the country for the prosperity of its people.
The new government has a great window of opportunity to put things right, and accelerate development and gain what we lost for 30 years due to war. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe can do this. They need to be focused and strict as we have lost a lot of discipline over the years, which is a key driver for economic development along with law and order and continuous stable policy. We hope that the right people will be put to the industry to drive the maritime industry. This sector can uplift the country as there are many good examples available from the region, said Colombo International Maritime Conference Organising Committee Chairman Rohan Masakorala.
Caribbean Cruises Vice President John Tercek will be the keynote speaker of the tourism segment of the conference along with the speaker from Royal Asian Cruises CMO Bill Chambers.
The CIMC will be held from 24 to 26 September in line with the IMO/UN maritime day, with the participation of 30 international speakers. Audience would attract more than 400 local and international participants.
Details of the Colombo International Maritime Conference can be found on http://www.cimc2015.com or on hotline 0773820703.