The world Tourism arrivals grew by 4.4 % in 2011 to a total of 980Mn up from 939 M in 2010. Among the regions Asia lead with 6.1 % growth. Sri Lanka did well with 32% growth in 2011 and country is expected to reach 2.5 million tourist arrival by year 2016.
The Development policy framework of the Government namely ‘Mahinda Chintana’ is committed to a sustainable tourism development. The strategic commitments of six year Tourism Development Strategy Plan is aimed to fulfill its ambitious vision to grow tourism arrivals to 2.5 million with USD 2.75 billion foreign exchange earnings by 2016. The plan further emphasize the priorities outlined for Sri Lanka Tourism business plan 2011-2012, including encouraging regional visitation, investment attraction and attracting golfers from emerging markets such as China and India.
Golf involves directly with the tourism offering golfing facilities in Sri Lanka. It was introduced Sri Lanka in the later part of the 19th century by the British Planters. Though there are growing awareness for environmental protection and sustainability, most of the tourism industry products are still far from achieving these ‘green’ objective. Hence the proposal of Green Golf Triangle is to give an achievable practical target to boost the ongoing discussion of environment sustainability.
The main economic benefit that will accrue through the project will be increase of foreign exchange while attracting up market quality tourist. In addition development of this nature are important for regional developments, since they create social mobility and open new opportunities for employment.
Recognize and promote Sri Lanka as a “Green Golf” destination in which visitors can play golf on three high-quality, environmentally-responsible courses. With this proposed project, Sri Lanka will become the first country anywhere in the world to have all of its courses recognized as environmentally responsible.
The primary objective is to create sustainable recreation facility where visitors could come and enjoy a game of golf set within nature which provided in beautiful environmental friendly and sustainable setting. In other word to develop a unique recreational products which will cater to high end ‘niche’ market segment of tourism.
Followings are some of the specific objectives that could be achieved by maintaining Green Golf Practices. • It’s the law to maintain the environment and have ethical business practices • Better government relations
• Better community relations • Save money on running costs • Good media angle • Way to stand out from other courses in the region which will enhances positioning of Golf Tourism in Sri Lanka • Enhances ability to attract regional & International Golf tournaments • Reinforces corporate positioning as a responsible tourism • Collateral activities can be developed – nature walks, bird watching
The government development policy regarding tourism development is to ensure that tourist and recreational developments are socially and environmentally acceptable, and that the developments meets the needs of tourists and contributes to the overall policy and objectives of Sri Lanka tourism. Followings are some of the aspects that apply to all tourist activities.
• An Environmental impact assessment should be carried out for all projects and environmentally harmful measures relating to development and maintenance avoided
• Water Supply of all tourist projects should be adequate and sources of supply should be sustainable
• Electricity – All establishment should be adequate and reliable. Environmentally friendly alternative sources , particular solar energy are encouraged
• Surface water – Drainage should be adequate to remove surface water and collection and re-use should be incorporated into the design and operation where ever possible
The proposed project of ‘Green Golf Triangle’ is very much in line with above stated government policies and standards. Therefore obtaining required approval and clearance will be hazel free process.
Sri Lanka has positioned itself as a ‘green’ and ‘eco” destination. It also successfully structures tourist itineraries as “cultural triangles”. Sri Lanka Cultural triangle covers an area which includes very important world heritage site of scared cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy with Dambulla. The Cultural Triangle is visited by many pilgrims, both laymen and the clergy (prominently Buddhist), as well as by local and almost all foreign tourists to the country. In the same manner positioning of Green Golf Triangle should be developed and promoted.
Courtney from Study Moose
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