Thriving eco-tourism in Sri Lanka ‘must nurture and sustain our biodiversity and landscapes’
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 recently carried an extensive interview with Sri Lanka Rainforest Ecolodge Chairman Prema Cooray, an acknowledged expert in sustainable tourism and a key figure in the eco-tourism field.
He says: “There are certain things that we can do and that we can’t do. If we overdo it, we will have development in the expense of no preservation and if there’s no preservation then there’s no life.”
He also notes that nature tourism is very important for Sri Lanka. The country has an abundance of flora and fauna, while whale, elephant, bird and leopard watching are also hugely popular.
He specifically mentions the Kandalama Hotel, which he helped develop and which is an epitome of attempts to blend high-end tourism seamlessly into the natural environment
The hotel has since won many awards in terms of engineering, architecture, community and social development, including the first green hotel in Asia.
Meanwhile, he stresses that “when you talk of nature, it involves eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is about having a destination with a rich profile and nature. Then you have the chance to project yourself as an eco-tourism destination.
“Even today Sri Lanka comes right on top in terms of bio-diversity in Asia. We have an abundance of water and we could even be a country that other countries import water from in the years to come if preserve the environment.
“It is our responsibility to preserve natural resources and create a sustainable eco-tourism in Sri Lanka.”
Read more here.