The Duchess, pictured above, was built by Neil Marine in Negombo for partner Menken Maritime of Holland.

Sri Lanka ‘poised for boom in high-end and high-spending yacht and sailing tourism’


Sri Lanka is poised for “a boom in high spending tourists who enjoy yachting and the associated lifestyle”, according to the Colombo-based website NewsIn.Asia.

It reports that Negombo boatbuilder Neil Marine is leading the charge towards developing a flourishing yachting ecosystem, including a network of upscale marinas around our island coastline.

It cites early efforts to introduce luxury yacht building, maintenance and berthing in Sri Lanka by Belgium Entrepreneur and industrialist Pierre Pringiers.

Others “are also diverting heavily into yacht and marine development to promote leisure sailing and yacht berthing in the coasts of Sri Lanka and to develop local and regional economy through them.

“Neil Marine, working in collaboration with Menken Maritime in Holland, and guided by the world-renowned vessel architects and designers including David Freeman of the UK and Martin De Jager & Simhony of Holland, have initiated the development of a large range of luxury boats and ships of pleasure to the global market.”

Meanwhile, a technical school in the south is training youth from fishing villages to build yachts, in electrical engineering, and in engine repairs and maintenance while another academy trains them in sailing skills and ocean conservation.

The report notes that many proposals have floated the need to develop marinas adjacent to domestic harbours in the southern and western coasts, including the development of Galle Marine.

A series of public and private sector partnerships in Mirissa and Marawila “are also seeking to create a breakthrough in the country’s luxury boat building, repair and berthing industry”.

While Sri Lanka is yet to establish a single full-size marina offering a complete range of service to yachters and pleasure sailors, Malaysia operates marinas with a berthing count of 1,400 yachts, Thailand 1,300 yachts and Singapore with only one-fifth of Sri Lanka’s coastal size can hold up to 750.

Read more here.

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