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BACK TO PRESS Jun 14, 2018

Sri Lanka developing seafront infrastructure, rules for boat building, nautical tourism

Sri Lanka developing seafront infrastructure, rules for boat building, nautical tourism

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is developing seafront infrastructure and regulations to promote boat building and nautical tourism, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama said.

“The boat building industry is a billion-dollar industry and Sri Lanka should take full advantage of this emerging trend,” he told a news conference to announce the launch of the island’s boat show.

Boat Show Sri Lanka 2018, which this year will also include a boating festival, will be held during 26-28 October, 2018 at the yacht marina in Galle port, for long a popular stop over for yachts and recreational sailors on the south coast.

“This year’s event will be organised with a novel concept by adding a boating festival to showcase the country’s capabilities in marine tourism and recreational boating, yachting and boat building for export,” Samarawickrama said.

“This event is a good example of a ‘Whole of Governemnt (WoG) approach as all government stakeholders of the sector, such as the ministries of ports and shipping, industry and commerce, tourism, and Sri Lanka Ports Authority have joined the Export Development Board and Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute Lanka (BTI) in organising the show.”

Samarawickrama said his ministry, EDB and Board of Investment were working closely with the industry on budget proposals to promote boat building and nautical tourism.

Work includes developing appropriate seafront infrastructure and regulations, and registration and standardisation covering the entire value chain of the industry, he said.

Samarawickrama said the newly developed National export Strategy has identified boat building as one of the focus sectors to be promoted in the overall strategy.

“The increasing worldwide, regional and local demand for boats for fishing, industrial, commercial and leisure purposes have opened up a number of opportunities and new markets for Sri Lanka as a result of its strategic location, highly trainable workforce and labour cost advantages,” he said.

There is also “massive potential” for nautical tourism due to the high marine diversity of the country, Samarawickrama said.

“These two sectors are interrelated. When development and promotional activities are undertaken for the boat building industry, many other related activities such as yacht chartering and parking, water sports and other activities need to be taken into account.”