Sri Lanka to pitch foreign cruise liners to expand cruise tourism: Tourism Promotion

Apr 22,2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion bureau said that it plans to attract more international cruise liners in order to expand Island’s cruise tourism business.

“We will make a pitch for top cruise organizations like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and MSC to have turnaround visits and include Sri Lanka in to the itinerary,” Rohan Athukorala , Chairman of Tourism Promotion Bureau said.

Sri Lanka attracted 22 cruise liners to Sri Lankan shores with 27,317 visitors on board in 2013/14 compared to 14 cruise liners in 2012/13 with visitor arrivals of 19,615 cruise travelers.

The promotion office says this year the numbers has spiked to 40 cruise liner arrivals and overall visitors expected to be fifty thousand plus.

Chairman of the working group on cruise tourism at the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound tour Operator, Bernie Dole complained, the cruise segment was not included in the “Tourism master plan” for 2016 Sri Lanka where as there is a new enthusiasm building up towards cruise tourism and the drive is very positive.

He said that there is a nine percent cater growth in the last nine years globally.

 The promotion bureau also agreed to facilitate and help in developing the supply chain efficiency needs, such as luggage handling, passenger liaisons, vehicle logistics for easier access into the city and back.