AND FACTORS AFFECTING ECOTOURISM IN SRI LANKA
S P Vidanage* and H B Kotagama**
*Central Environmental Authority; **University of Peradeniya
Tourism in Sri Lanka has a strong, still growing role in earning foreign
exchange and creating new employment. However, if adequate safeguards
are not taken, present mass tourism could give rise to serious problems
of environmental degradation. The cost of servicing mass tourism is very
high due to its heavy dependency on imported items. Further, the rich
industrialized tourist generating countries have the control of hotel
chains, international air lines, tour agencies etc. Thus it is questionable
whether the real beneficiaries of this mass tourism are third world countries
like Sri Lanka or the rich industrialized nations who dominate in the
above mentioned services.
The main objective of this study was to identify the potential for developing
nature tourism in Sri Lanka and factors affecting such tourism in Sri
lanka. The field survey was conducted during the period of October 1994
to February 1995 using questionnaires prepared in English, French and
German. Both non-parametric data presentation and regression analysis
were employed in data analysis.
This study concludes that there is a significant potential for development
of nature tourism in Sri Lanka. Nature tourism is proven to be less demanding
in terms of accommodation standards and more demanding regarding information
about the destination. Social conflicts can also be avoided when local
people get involved in managing protected areas through nature tourism.
It is concluded that nature tourism can be recommended for Sri Lanka on
a pilot project basis and after evaluation, decisions on further development
can be taken.
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.