The Government will soon call for Request for Proposals ( RFPs) to develop the Galle Port for a Yacht Marina, Minister of Port Development , State Minister of Port Development, Kanaka Herath said yesterday.
He said that there were a large number of Western tourists, especially Continental tourists who loved sailing and the Galle Port was one of the attractions to them.
The plan is to call for bids which will aim at parking/berthing these yachts where at one given time, there will be around 22, he said.
The Government calling for RFPs will also be centred round the building of related infrastructure for the yacht tourists for not only berthing their vessels but also accommodation. There will also be separate restaurant facilities for them as well. The Port will be developed as a tourist hub as well where there will be facilities for the repair and servicing for their vessels, which will generate foreign exchange. These yacht tourists have insisted that they are not in real need of five-star hotel comfort but what they want is some basic accommodation to spent two or three nights to rest, do some sightseeing till they get their boats and yachts repaired or serviced and that would be sufficient.
The policy of the Government will also be centred round the development of Ports and Airports which will also be a stimulus for economic development.
He said the construction of the marina will also be centred round the criteria that the Galle is a UNESCO heritage site.
The attention of the Government has also been drawn to the reality that Galle could be developed as a Port which could handle container ships and passenger vessels such as luxury cruise liners and that the only need right now is the building of the breakwater which could see to that being a reality.