Introduction

Tourism in Sri Lanka is growing rapidly. For centuries, Sri Lanka has been a popular place of attraction for foreign travelers. The Chinese traveler Fa-Hien visited Sri Lanka as early as the 4th century, and in the twelfth century, Italian explorer Marco Polo claimed Sri Lanka to be the “best island of its size in the world”.

The government initiatives in the development of tourism date back to 1937 when the Ceylon Tourist Bureau was established. However, it was closed down in September 1939 due to World War II. After Sri Lanka’s independence, the promotion of tourism was again considered by re-establishing the Ceylon Tourist Board which took over the function of the Tourist Bureau. More formal recognition for the country’s tourism sector was given with the enactment of Act No. 10 of 1966. This provided the legislation for the establishment of the Ceylon Tourist Board. Since then the Ceylon Tourist Board has functioned as the state agency, responsible for the development and promotion of the tourism sector in Sri Lanka.

In October 2007 according to Section 2 of the Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (Act No 10 of 1966) was replaced by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

Tourist Resort Regions in Sri Lanka

Currently, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has classified Sri Lanka into several resort regions suitable for tourism development.

The Colombo and Greater Colombo Resort Region spread along with Mount Lavinia in the south to Negombo in the north. Colombo city is the main part of the zone and is the center for business activities, conferences, and sports events in the country. Colombo serves as both a gateway and stopover point for international tourists.

The south coast zone extends from Wadduwa to Tissamaharama. The zone has been divided into two main regions. The first region extends from Wadduwa to Galle. Coastal areas like Kalutara, Beruwala, Bentota, Dedduwa, Madu Ganga, Balapitiya, Ahungalla, and Hikkaduwa are included in this region. The second region, extending from Galle to Tissamaharama, includes Unawatuna, Koggala, Weligama, Mirissa, Matara, Tangalleand Hambantota areas as sub-points of the zone.

The East Coast Resort Region extends from Kuchchaveli in the north to Pottuvil in the south. The main tourism zones in this region are Arugam Bay, Pasikudah, Trincomalee, and Nilaveli.

Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela, and Maskeliya are included in the High Country Resort Region.

This region has five world heritage sites, namely Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya. Other regions include Habarana, Giritale, Matale and Victoria.

This includes Yala, Udawalawa, Wasgamuwa, Pinnawala, and Ratnapura area.

This is just a summary of all the tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. All the locations mentioned herein will be unfolded as a post soon.

WHERE TO STAY

For those planning a trip to Sri Lanka, we recommend booking your accommodations through our partner  “Booking.com” which allows us to earn a portion of the revenue generated by your booking which help us to creation of high-quality content like this. Even if you are unwilling to do so, you can still enjoy the article and learn something you may not have known before.

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