Sri Lanka ASP surfing meet to raise sport tourism profile

Aug 17, 2011 (LBO) – A combined men and women’s’ professional surfing event in Sri Lanka’s Arugam Bay sponsored by national carrier SriLankan Airlines will strengthen the island’s image as a sporting destination, officials said. “The motto of the Association of Surfing Professionals is to put the world’s best surfers with the world’s best waves. Sri Lanka’s Arugam Bay is one of the world’s best waves,” ASP’s general manager Dane Jordan said.

Arugam Bay has a right breaking wave, which runs almost parallel to the shore.

Sri Lanka Tourism chief Nalaka Godahewa said positioning Sri Lanka as a sporting destination was one of eight ‘pillars’ of the country’s promotional strategy.

In the past Sri Lanka used to speak about beaches and heritage as the island has a rich archaeological history.

The product now has broadened to include wildlife, sports and adventure and traditional health practices. The country is also bidding for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“There are so many opportunities for people to come to this country and enjoy sports and adventure,” Godahewa said.

“We can offer surfing, sailing, scuba diving, ballooning, trekking, cycling.”

White water rafting is also becoming popular in the c