The expansion of Galle port will see enhanced yacht facilities to help boost tourism

The Sri Lankan port of Galle, a leading yacht destination in the island nation, is to be expanded into a tourist port which will see its current yacht facilities upgraded with a new Yacht Marina Zone.

The expansion will see a new outer port development which will include a breakwater that will be able to berth both cruise ships and local tourist passenger vessels. Located south of the capital, Colombo, Galle is a base for tourist craft used for whale-watching and other cruises.

In a recent visit to Galle, State Minister of Ports Development, Kanaka Herath, stated that the new Yacht Marina Zone would be developed to help grow local tourism and attract more yachts to call. Both Colombo and Galle are locations where yachts travelling east and west in Asian waters call into.

During the visit, the minister was quoted by Sri Lankan media outlet News Ist as saying: “We are planning to develop the Galle port as a tourism port on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. And what we are planning to do there is to have a yacht marina with all the facilities for tourism. Also, we are planning to develop the breakwater by which we can have cruise ships in Galle port. That’s our main plan for Galle tourism. For the past five years, there hasn’t been any development in Galle port. We are trying to implement this as soon as possible to gazette it within one month’s time before elections.”

Minister Herath spoke of investment of some US$5m for the port development as well as the plan to find an investor to develop the proposed new marina. Galle’s previous yacht berthing facilities were heavily damaged by a tsunami some years ago and basic facilities were rebuilt in 2015. Galle is a tourism centre in its own right, offering a number of attractions including a large Dutch fort, clear blue oceans and coral reefs, tropical rain forest, a world heritage site and archaeological sites.