Lanka needs popularize boating as a lifestyle | Daily News

Lanka needs popularize boating as a lifestyle

Jeevani Siriwardena
Jeevani Siriwardena

Sri Lanka needs to popularize boating as a lifestyle to create awareness on the boating activities among the relevant stakeholders and more importantly to increase revenue in a big way, Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), Director General Jeevani Siriwardena said.

Having indentified Boat and Ship Building as a focused sector in the National Export Strategy (NES) 2018-2020, EDB has also undertaken various initiatives to improve the internal and external market demand for boating related products and services.

“Sri Lanka’s total exports in 2019 were around USD 16 billion and target set for us for 2020 is to achieve USD 18.5 billion. It is a very difficult target given the current circumstances to achieve that; But now our Chairman keep saying that we need to diversify our export basket and not be dependent on the traditional exports. It is against that background that new upcoming industries such as the boating industry become very relevant when it comes to expanding into new export businesses.” Siriwardena told the conference on “Grow Boating as a lifestyle” held at BMICH yesterday. The conference was jointly organized by EDB and the Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute (BTI).

Considering the high marine diversity and the influx of fairly high spending tourists, the country has a massive potential for nautical tourism. Also yacht building, chartering and yacht operation in the region and beyond has now become an attractive industry in Sri Lanka.

According to the EDB, foreign yachts can anchor in Sri Lankan water and enjoy the attractive on shore activities such as whale, dolphin watching, scuba diving, leisure fishing, snorkeling, windsurfing and many more around the country throughout the year. Development of nautical tourism will contribute to uplift the local boat building industry and to derive indirect export earnings through tourist spending.

As boat building and nautical tourism are interrelated, ADB believes that strategies to develop one sector will benefit the other. Therefore, EDB takes into account the development of all other related activities such as yacht chartering, yacht parking, water sports and other boating and recreational activities when developing strategies for the development of the boat building industry

“Moreover it is essential to make the country a renowned recreational boating, yacht service centre in the Indian Ocean. For exports, sound foundation of the domestic industry is very vital for us to increase our exports,” Siriwardena said.

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