Wildlife tourism is a fast-growing phase of world tourism, extra so after COVID as many vacationers now search the pure outside setting.
Sri Lanka has a lot to supply on this area, however we’re nonetheless “treading the identical outdated cow path” selling the identical providing.
Present day vacationers are searching for a extra immersive expertise and understanding of wildlife. Subsequently, there have to be a change to the strategy and message. A special narrative is required urgently to achieve out to this necessary phase.
In keeping with the United Nations World Tourism Group (UNWTO), world wildlife tourism accounts for 7% of the world tourism business and is rising at an annual progress of about 3%. Wildlife tourism at the moment employs 22 million folks worldwide straight or not directly and contributes greater than $120 billion to world GDP. Therefore it’s apparent that it varieties a essential part of world tourism sooner or later. This might be bigger within the fast future, since publish pandemic vacationers are in search of out extra outside and nature-related immersive experiences throughout their travels.
In Sri Lanka, that is additionally a quickly rising phase, the place near 50% of all vacationers visiting the nation made not less than one go to to a wildlife park in 2018 (by far the very best 12 months for tourism in Sri Lanka). This was a marked enhance from some 20% in 2015.
As well as, park entrance charges, enhanced revenues from vacationers staying in lodges within the neighborhood, and peripheral earnings by safari jeep drivers usher in a really massive income for the state, non-public sector, and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In 2018, the earnings from simply 3 of the most well-liked wildlife parks was a staggering Rs 11 B (USD 72 M) at 2018 change charges.
So there isn’t any query that wildlife tourism needs to be an integral phase of Sri Lanka’s tourism providing.
Advertising Sri Lanka Wildlife to the world
Regardless of the significance of this phase for tourism as proven within the forgoing, tourism entrepreneurs nonetheless proceed their outdated methods of promoting wildlife tourism. Operators are nonetheless treading the acquainted cow path, providing vacationers standardized safari excursions maybe only for them to have the ability to see a couple of charismatic species within the wild. When a possible vacationer calls a lodge or a journey company to inquire concerning the wildlife sights in Sri Lanka, most frequently the gross sales employees simply provides an itinerary and mentions the animals that might be noticed there.
In at this time’s context, what is required is colourful tales about wildlife in Sri Lanka with a humane experiential contact. Tales have to be woven across the many the charismatic wildlife animals and the intimate wildlife experiences in Sri Lanka.
Briefly, a completely completely different narrative is required to boost the wildlife tourism providing.
Please depart a suggestions on thisx
Through the years, I’ve been presenting many tales about wild animal people and incidents and few are given beneath.
Rambo the Elephant at Uda Walawe Wildlife Park
This mature male elephant has been patrolling the Uda Walawe reservoir bund for greater than a decade, contained in the protecting electrical fence barrier, attracting passers-by. He has develop into fairly a celeb and is probably one of the vital photographed wild elephants on this a part of the world.
I’ve interacted with this animal throughout my work at Uda Walawe Park and written extensively about his antics.
A google seek for “Rambo elephant” returned about 2,750,000 outcomes (0.41 seconds). In fact simply “Rambo” alone is not going to work as a result of Sylvester Stallone will dominate the area!
Natta the leopard ‘king’ of Wilpattu
Natta is an efficient wholesome mature however omewhat elusive specimen of a male leopard who’s the resident “king” at Wilpattu Nationwide Park. He’s probably the most wanted for picture alternatives, which he gladly obliges to if he’s within the temper. He derives his title “Natta” which implies a “tail” in Singhalese since his tail is barely damaged on the tip, probably on account of a struggle with one other leopard throughout his youthful days in establishing his dominance. A google seek for “Natta leopard” resulted in 707,000 outcomes (0.36 seconds).
Sumedha the “king” of Uda Walawe
A mature tusked elephant who frequents the park periodically through the months of June to October normally, Sumedha is undisputedly on the prime of the hierarchy within the park after the demise of the previous dominant male “Walawe Raja.” Different males within the park are cautious of him and give him a large berth. He has a really distinguishing and distinguished tennis ball-sized gap in his proper ear and a damaged tail. A google seek for “Sumedha elephant” gave 376,000 outcomes (0.56 seconds).
I’ve extracted their “antics” and constructed characters round them. And I don’t apologize for “humanizing” them. That’s what makes it all of the extra attention-grabbing to folks.
Whereas tales will be constructed round animal characters, uncommon wildlife encounters may also be publicized in a lovely method.
It is advisable to “spin the story” and provides it that little “salt and pepper” to make it extra attention-grabbing. Once more listed below are a few of my examples.
Rambo goes on a “stroll about”
Some years in the past, there was concern when Rambo (whom I referred to earlier) instantly went lacking for a number of months from his traditional hang-out of the bund of the reservoir. After a search, he was discovered fairly contentedly cohabiting with feminine elephants contained in the park. He was in musth, a periodic manifestation in male elephants the place their testosterone ranges rocket to excessive ranges, indicated by a thick viscous discharge from its temporal glands, and it results in heightened sexual exercise. I gave the story a twist by writing “Rambo disappears, discovered going for an amorous walk-about.”
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