Tourism Authority mulls regulating visitor flows

The Tourism Authority is considering ways to better control the flow of visitors to tourist attractions to ensure their carrying capacity is not harmed by increasing numbers of domestic and foreign travellers.

“Carrying capacity at our tourist sites is important.We have to look at how to control capacities in future,”Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Paddy Withane said.

“The numbers of visitors are increasing – there’s more travel in the country with the growing middle class,” he said at the launch of an online interactive Geotourism MapGuide by National Geographic Society in partnership with International Finance Corporation.

Withane said the authorities were aware of increasing numbers at popular sites like the Sigiriya rock fortress, Yala national park and offshore whale watching areas.

Studies have to be done to see how the flow of visitors could be better controlled without inconveniencing them, he told

One measure the authorities could consider was spreading out the flow of visitors over a longer period of the day by encouraging evening or night-time visits with proper illumination at tourist and pilgrimage sites like Anuradhapura.

Private sector players in the tourism sector have called for restrictions on numbers of visitors to certain sites to ensure their sustainability.

Source :


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