Much scope for adventure tourism in Sri Lanka, says training specialist | Sunday Observer

Much scope for adventure tourism in Sri Lanka, says training specialist

15 September, 2019

Sri Lanka could capitalise on the emerging trend of adventure tourism that has grown to be an integral component of the tourism and hospitality industry, General Manager, Operations, Adventure/Outbound Training Specialist, Che Adventure Park, Shehan Pilapitiya said.

“Adventure tourism has a vast market scope in Sri Lanka as it has always been popular for sun, sea, beach and what is seasonal in different parts of the country. In the case of adventure tourism, Sri Lanka has much to offer. We need to work on this aspect to promote this segment of tourists the world-over,” he said.

“Our island offers tourist different climate that changes within 2-3 hours. Sri Lanka has a calendar of adventure activities on offer, such as scuba diving, surfing in the south and the east coast, white water rafting grade 2-5 rivers which are seasonal and spread across different locations.

We have national mountain biking trails in hill country and down south which should be exposed further and used for events. The country needs to focus on aggressively embarking on adventure related tourism with all these resources in place,” he said.

The other activities the country could consider offering could be multi-day river excursions with camping and safaris, multi-day jungle expeditions with camping, biking and canoeing. Sri Lanka has the capacity to cater to the hard core and soft core adventure lovers and there are plenty of opportunities to develop this aspect of tourism by having necessary facilities for the tourists.

“An adventure tourist pays high price for a valuable experience. He could be considered as a niche client who values experience and wishes to explore the unknown. Adventurers are up-market passion seekers who would pay a high price for a safe experience to be shared. Many French, Arab, British, Indian and German tourists are interested in the adventure sector In Sri Lanka. We need to gear ourselves to provide this experience, and it will also enable the industry to generate more foreign revenue,” he said.

Even local companies have shown keen interest in experiencing this concept, and they organise adventure tourism related activities with professionals for their staff. This is an encouraging trend for the industry and they need to maintain adequate facilities and international standards to cater to this demand, he said.

Since the birth of Che adventure park in 2014 as visioned by Yasith Gunawardena, the park is moving from the traditional adventure activities to high-end activities.

“We are adding on high end adventure activities, such as sky diving, kite surfing, whtie water rafting mountain biking, rock climbing, scuba diving, sea lagoon water sports, high-end zip-lining located in different parts of the country. Che is popular as an outbound training outfitter which has a large share in corporate training in Sri Lanka, Che is spreading its wings covering a larger product on offer.

Its adventure park in Hanwella can accommodate up to 400 participants a day, and we facilitate about 2000 participants a month maintaining a zero injury track record since 2014.We are flexible in conducting multi-day programs at the same time at camp site,” he said.

“We also have the capacity and professionalism to conduct 1-6 day base and race challenge adventure programs which incorporated into outbound training programs. Che adventure facilitators are also trained in medical and emergency respond situations in jungle and river activities.

“High end OBT trainings is for niche clientele, and this initiative is new to Asia,” he said.