The Ports Authority of Sri Lanka (SLPA) will construct Sri Lanka’s first yacht marine zone at the Galle Port premises at a cost of Rs. 125 million to attract tourism in the area, its sources said.
“The purpose of this new concept was to promote the Galle area as a major tourist destination in the country” said SLPA Deputy Chief Manager Nalin Aponso to the Daily News Business.
He said the government has taken steps to develop all regional ports in the country and this will be the first such initiative. Therefore, they are planning to complete it in one and a half years in two stages.The phase one of the project will cost Rs 125 million.
This port zone will be able to anchor 43 yachts at once. It will be improved to anchor more than 150 yachts with the construction of the berth following the completion of the phase two of the project, he said.
The phase two of the project is expected to be launched in middle of this year and the estimated investment would be around Rs 325 million.
Under the phase two of the project, it will build a shipping yard and a berth at the Port to attract cruises for tourists, he said. The phase two of the project is expected to complete in 24 months.
Chairman/ Managing Director Milton Resorts Milton Galappaththi said that this is a very good move which should have been done many years ago.
He said that developing a yacht marine zone in the Galle area is an excellent move as it has a lot of potential to be developed as a major tourist destination in the country.
The Galle Port is the only Sri Lankan port that provides facilities for enjoyment. Even with the minimum facilities provided the International Yacht Society has recognised the Galle Port as one of the world’s best ports. The cruise and yacht seasons are from October to March, during the non monsoon period.
The project will also utilise the maximum local engineering expertise as well as the existing high standard port recourses. Phase two of the project will include extension of Yacht Marina to accommodate 30 more yachts and development of facilities for cruise ships berthing 300m long and 9m draft.
Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said that under the new management policies implemented at SLPA, regional ports such as the Galle Port will be developed independently without being dependent an extra burden on the development projects at the Port of Colombo. The development of the Galle Port will also be of immense benefit to upgrade the tourism industry in the historical city of Galle and it will benefit not only the Galle port but also the country’s economic development.
Construction work at the Galle Port is being carried out under the supervision of the Executive Director of SLPA Dr. Sanjaya Sedara Senarath.