The coastal town of Negombo is well-known for its tourist attraction over the decades. Negombo is quite a tourist hub just as much as other coasts in the country. There are several spots in the Negombo coast which are a tourist draw.
The glorious flora around the lagoon of Negombo has always been a tourist attraction from time immemorial. Meanwhile, there are many boat services and guide services for tourists who require them.
With the Government's effort to develop the tourism industry and attract over one million tourists in 2013, Negombo will be a catalyst in this endeavour. Even in the early days when tourism was booming, Negombo played a major role as a tourist attraction in the seventies. Today with the Government taking many initiatives to beautify the country, particularly the main cities, Negombo too has come under the microscope to be developed as a major tourist hub.
The people of Negombo people are optimistic about the coast and the lagoon in terms of development. They are expecting rapid development of the Negombo coast and city in general. The people say that the Negombo lagoon could generate valuable revenue for the country.
In this backdrop that Deputy Minister of Fisheries Sarath kumara visited the area recently and promised people that he would provide their necessities and create prompt development in the area as well as develop the fishery industry and tourism and take Negombo to new heights.
it is in this backdrop and on the invitation of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Deputy Minister, Sarath Kumara, journalists, photographers and a few staffers of the Fisheries Ministry took a trip to a small island situated seven kilometers away from the Negombo jetty and coast.
En-route of the journey the quaint beauty of the small island was visible. It consisted of many kinds of birds as well as fauna and flora. Migrant birds were flying to and fro and flock on tops of the trees.
The sleepy small island was nestled in a valley and peering through its splendour, one is amazed at the beauty. While on the journey to the island, fishery farms were visible scattered in the lagoon. It was understood that farmers earn a quick buck from fish farms and they were well-maintained.
We could not believe that some visitors were walking in the sea getting off their boats. Later it came to light that people could walk as some places in the lagoon were shallow. Many tourists could be seen laughing and enjoying in the shallow waters of the lagoon.
Deputy Minister, Sarath Kumara Gunarathna while admiring the beauty expressed concerns about the environment of the coast. He said, Negombo could flourish by using the resources of the coast. He said the environment of the coast should be protected because some residents disposed garbage things into the environment.
They should be more responsible and refrain from these wrongdoings. There were five thousand families and they have been residing around the lagoon and their livelihood were to engage in fishery industries in the area.
A lot of tourists will approach the lagoon to spend the day and will visit picturesque areas of the lagoon. Owners of boats would have a good income with tourists travelling around them.
The Deputy Minister stressed that he was not a stranger in this area. He was used to the Negombo lagoon as he was born and bred in Negombo.
Personal secretary to Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister, Chaminda Kumarasinghe was a part of our voyage to the small island of the Negombo lagoon.
The Government in its endeavour to make Sri Lanka the tourist hub of South Asia has initiated many town beautification projects and Negombo too would receive a major facelift soon, he said.
Sunday Observer By Ananda Agalakada