An awareness programme was jointly organized for the boat operators engaged in whale watching activities by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the Merchant Shipping Secretariat with the facilitation of the Ceylon Fisheries Harbor Corporation, the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and the Department of Wildlife in order to enhance the industry in a controlled manner, ensuring the safety of the tourists and the cetaceans on 22nd January at the auditorium of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), Colombo 03.
Accordingly, presentations were delivered by the relevant government entities and a representative from Classification Societies presented the immediate actions to regulate the whale watching activities in relation to the applicable gazette notifications and discussed how to go forward to achieve sustainable development in the industry.
The State Minister of Tourism Development Mr. Ranjith Aluwihare,, Wild Life and Christian Religious Affairs addressing the meeting said that protecting whales while accommodating tourists and ensuring their safety are the most important factors to consider and encouraged to have discussions with relevant parties to solve any issue presently existing in the industry.
Furthermore, the Minister assured that his ministry would give the fullest support from the government side to standardize these business activities.
High profile officials from the relevant government departments and over +100 boat operators from Kalpitiya, Trincomalee, Mirissa areas were in attendance for the awareness programme and they were awarded a Certificate of Participation at the end.