Whale watching can be lucrative business
New vistas in tourism promotion:
Whale watching today is a US$ 3 billion worth tourist attraction in
the world part of which can be easily absorbed via tourism industry in
Sri Lanka by unveiling these hidden assets of underwater marine life.
Whale watching becoming popular now
Presenting their research findings on 'Whale watching in Sri Lanka'
at a seminar last week BBC and WWF UK videographer Andrew Sutton and
mammal behaviour specialist and a PhD student of blue whales in Sri
Lanka Asha de Vos added that "Sri Lankan waters carry 23 special
varieties of whales and among them the most important blue whale and the
Both whales can be easily encountered in Sri Lankan waters of less
than two hours drive from the coast.
This brings ease of access for whale watching enthusiasts, a comfort
hardly available in other places in the world. Similarly dolphins too
can be seen in large herds in our marine waters."
Master Divers Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said marine
archaeology and the adventures into discovering historical values of
sunken ship wrecks around the coastal belt of Sri Lanka provide new
opportunities for tourism industry.
It is important to make people aware of these attractions and how
that can be used as an investiture for the development of tourism
industry in our country.
"There are about 10 to 12 ships moving across the waters around Sri
Lanka at any given time, if we build some facility to watch them from
the shore, that alone can be an exciting experience for anyone,"
A coral scientist and a coastal zone management specialist of
National Aquatic Resources Association (NARA) Arjan Rajasooriya said
that Sri Lankan underwater marine life consists of a rare combination of
natural coral formations. The coral reefs in places like Hikkaduwa,
Mirissa and eastern coastal belt of the country are surrounded with
fascinating underwater plants and herds of colourful tropical fish
"Free diving and snorkeling in these waters will offer any tourist
with an entirely different and extremely delightful experience," he
said. He also emphasized the need to educate local and foreign populace
alike on preserving these coral reefs for future generations.
This seminar on "Marine life resources will play a major role in
attracting tourists to Sri Lanka," was conducted by the Sri Lanka
Tourism Promotions Bureau.