World eco-tourism guru Costas Christ for National Geographic has placed Sri Lanka top of the list of nine destinations around the world “that are doing tourism right”.
Eco-tourism in Sri Lanka is thriving thanks to the island’s abundant biodiversity, amazing natural landscapes—and the growing awareness that all this must be nurtured, properly managed and sustainable. The DailyFT interviewed Sri Lanka Rainforest Ecolodge Chairman Prema Cooray, an expert in sustainable tourism.
The rich biodiversity of a unique area inside one of Sri Lanka’s largest primary rainforests was a rich source of food and sustenance for local villages for generations. But when the Sinharaja Reserve became part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, villagers fell back on their own resources by creating ‘home gardens’.
Eco-tourism doesn’t get much more ‘part of the landscape’ sustainable than the lakeside Saraii Village in Sri Lanka’s deep south. The Sunday Times reports that Saraii “is not just about seeing the new, but about feeling and breathing in a rustic experience that touches the soul of the traveller”.
Sri Lanka is in the vanguard of efforts to control the ‘plastics catastrophe’ that is polluting the world’s oceans. Last year it banned plastic bags and other disposable plastic consumer products. “Sri Lankans should become eco-friendly citizens” says the Daily Mirror.
An outstanding example of Sri Lanka’s focus on sustainable eco-tourism is featured on Arch Daily, billed as the world’s most visited architecture website.