Nautical Tourism, the tourism industrysegment that combines sailing and boating activities with vacation,is rapidly gaining popularity. Popular activities include recreational boating, cruises, water sports, water-based tourism such as marine wildlife tourism(marine parks) and maritime history. Sri Lanka, the “Wonder of Asia” is a populartourist destination with its coast and ocean consisting a main attraction. As a tropical island, Sri Lanka is ideally positioned to develop ocean based tourism as many nautical enthusiasts including those that live on board their vessels even in port, bring demand for a variety of goods and services. Thus the nation is fast emerging as a popular nautical tourist destination.
Marine/coastal water based activities that could be promoted in Sri Lanka include Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Skin Diving, Body Surfing, Canoeing,Parasailing, Kite surfing, Game fishing,Paddle Boating, Wake Boarding,Water skiing,Jet skiing, Kayaking,Wind Surfing, White water rafting and Rowing. Besides coastal sports,Boat Safari, White Water Rafting, Kayaking, Sports Angling and Canoeing are some of the relatively new water sports practiced in the inland rivers and lakesin a small scale, while these myriad of inland rivers and lakes around the country offer vast potential for development of these activities.Supply ofaccessories and equipment for such activities has also spawned ancillary businesses.
With many millennials seeking adventure as well as unique and authentic experiences in untapped destinations, Sri Lanka has a perfect opportunity to create a value added nautical tourist industry.Given below are key nautical and other water based tourist destination selection drivers. The advantages Sri Lanka possessesare given below.