Sri Lankan beach tourism: Sustainable development of the coastline

Posted on October 31st, 2013 by

A deserted beach in southern Sri Lanka in 2010. (Photo by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau. Creative Commons License.)

A deserted beach in southern Sri Lanka in 2010. (Photo by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau. Creative Commons License.)

When Sri Lanka’s internal conflict ended in 2009, miles of tropical beaches became ripe for international development and tourism. In this Al Jazeera opinion piece, Geographers William Moseley and Vinad Malwatte argue that tourism development in Sri Lanka must take into account local communities and environmental impacts. They critique current plans for large resort-style hotels and offer an alternative of community-based eco-tourism: “While the country’s lush beaches are alluring to local and international investors with big plans, this approach will ultimately be counter-productive in terms of promoting peace and stability, local development and environmental conservation. In the end, there must be a participatory, win-win approach which benefits local communities, business people and the environment.”

 

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