Historic city of Galle in southern Sri Lanka ‘to be transformed into a top travel hub in South Asia’
The southern Sri Lanka city of Galle, one of our eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, is to be transformed into a top tourism hub in South Asia.
Prime focus will be the historic Galle Fort enclave built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th Century.
Its distinctive architecture and narrow streets, now filled with smart shops, restaurants and bijou boutique hotels, are already major tourist attractions.
The Enjoy Travelling website says that the city’s tourism plans will “focus heavily on conservation of the natural ecosystem and new laws will be formulated to protect the environment in the area during construction”.
It reports Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as saying that “the aim of promoting tourism will be implemented while preserving and protecting the precious World Heritage Site of the historic Galle Fort”.
He said all illegal constructions within the Galle Fort would be removed, and state organizations located in the Galle Fort area would be shifted without delay.
He noted that the Galle district “is located between two international airports, Katunayake and Mattala” and “its interior areas were blessed with natural beauty and have immense potential”.
“That is why we have already made plans to start tourism projects in Akurala and Koggala. With all these projects, Galle, I am certain, will become a major tourism hub in the region,” he said.
Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has grown rapidly since the civil war ended in 2009 , with India, China and the UK being our largest source markets.
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