2618 tourists arrived at the Hambantota International Port (HIP) in June, on board the MV Empress of Cordelia Cruises. The cruise liner, which made 4 calls at HIP within the month, carries tourists from the Chennai Port on scheduled tours. The ship calls at 4 ports in Sri Lanka i.e. Hambantota, Trincomalee, Colombo and KKS. It is the first time the country has experienced such a cruise circuit.
Passengers disembarked at HIP to visit several tourist attractions and take day trips to places such as the Diyaluma Waterfall, a nearby turtle hatchery, and treks through Yala, Udawalawe, and Bundala national parks.
“HIP has a dedicated berth for passenger liners and our quayside services are well attuned to receiving passengers who are on quick tours to tourist destinations in the South,” saysLance Zuo, General Manager Commercial & Marketing of Hambantota International Port Group adding that this is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs in the indigenous tourist industry, in terms of providing transportation such as vans and three wheelers. The Hambantota International Port has engaged in positively promoting the tourism industry in the region, since Q4 last year. “We consider it critical for the economic recovery of the country,” he says.