Port of Call

Jan 13, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority will start construction work on a yacht marina in the southern Galle harbour this week as part of efforts to promote it as a tourism port, a senior official said.

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Galle is already a port of call for yachts but lacks adequate facilities to properly cater for existing users and to attract new ones, SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrema said.

“We’re going to build a cruise terminal and a yacht marina with repair and recreation facilities,” he said.

Construction work on the yacht marina and repair yard begins on Thursday.

“Now we don’t have good enough facilities,” Wickrema said. “That’s why we can’t attract more foreign yachts and pleasure boats. If we can develop the facilities we can attract more vessels.”

The SLPA wants to modernise the port of Galle, which with the remains of an old Dutch colonial-era fort has long been a tourist attraction, to make it more attractive to high-spending foreign yachtsmen.

The SLPA is also thinking of organising yacht rallies to promote Galle port, Wickrema said.

Later, the SLPA intends t