Sri Lanka holds an enviable position off the coast of South Asia, in the Indian Ocean. Consistent temperatures, the blend of pristine beaches, tea-covered hills, and tropical lowland jungles are part of the draw for the couple of million tourists that come to visit every year, and yet Sri Lanka remains an undeveloped island ready for exploration.
Sri Lanka has more than 2,000 years of recorded history, from an early Buddhist civilisation to a wide range of influences thanks to the settlers that stayed on one of the most influential staging posts of the Indian Ocean.
In the north of the island, the Tamil culture is vibrantly Hindu, more like the Indian subcontinent. In the South, you will find the Sinhalese, vehemently Buddhist and the creators of great religious monuments.
Tourists can move from unspoiled white beaches to jungles full of jaguars, then climb hills swathed in tea plantations – all in temperatures of between 26-30 degrees throughout the year (slightly lower in the hills, of course). With more than 15% of the island comprising of nature reserves, those looking for wildlife really are spoiled for choice.
The geographical position of the island of Sri Lanka might have been important to the Indian Ocean trade, but for the yacht charter industry it represents an opportunity to grow and develop the burgeoning tourist industry on some of the most beautiful waters.
The biodiverse oceans surrounding the island of Sri Lanka touch the pristine and mostly uninhabited beaches and rugged coastline of the east coast, while the west coast is more developed and a magnet for the surfing community.
Most boats and yachts gravitate to the southern coast, which is a nice blend of colonial towns, white beaches, and Buddhist temples – all wonderful places to explore and get to know more about the island.
Sri Lanka is still developing as a mecca for the superyachts and the charters, but there are already places where the industry is welcomed, with ports capable of dealing with the sheer size and volume of the boat-based tourist trade in several different places around the island.
Galle Port, in the south, is the perfect place to dock after cruising round the island. Still surrounded by the natural lifestyle of the Sri Lankan residents, yachts can pull in next to traditional fishermen, using nets and poles while they are standing on stilts in the calm ocean.
Colombo on the west coast is the commercial harbour, while the port of Trincomalee in the north-west is more suited to military craft but can accept cruising boats.
Sri Lankans do not tend to head out on the ocean in pleasure boats; but the yacht charter industry is booming – and that is where you can make the most of an online yacht charter company.
Borrow a Boat in Sri Lanka
While yacht charter companies are still establishing a toehold in the developing tourist industry of Sri Lanka, online company Borrow a Boat allows the opportunity for visitors to get on the ocean – and boat owners to make some extra money from their nautical investments. Created in 2017 and launched by boat enthusiasts, Borrow a Boat is about making boating accessible to everyone, whether they live near the water or not. Alongside small, family-owned craft are the impressive and luxurious superyachts from the exclusive yacht charter companies, available with and without captains, for hourly, daily, or even weekly hire.
With more than 45,000 boats available in 65+ countries, Borrow a Boat is a charter marketplace that can boost the tourist economy and help boat owners make their vessels pay.
For the Tourist
Borrow a Boat is a yacht charter marketplace that works with both yacht charter companies and as a peer-to-peer network, helping bring boat hire to the 21st century. For the tourist, there are opportunities to borrow a boat with a captain, or pilot one yourself (if you have the right certifications and experience). You can choose from small speedboats or dinghies, or even 100m+ superyachts for a luxury holiday on the water.
For the Boat Owner
Peer-to-peer hiring offers boat owners the opportunity to get their vessel earning while they are not being used. In most cases, boats of all kinds cost at least 10% of their value in upkeep alone – so if you are only taking your boat out once or twice a year, it becomes more of a financial sink hole.
To register your vessel with Borrow a Boat, you will need to pay a small amount for licensing, inspection, and insurance. Once you have registered, hiring out your boat can become at least cost neutral, or even make some profit. Plus, you will still get to use your boat when you want to.
The Developing Tourist Industry in Sri Lanka
Following recent turbulence in the global tourism trade, travellers are seeking new experiences around the globe, and Sri Lanka is shaping up to be a one-in-a-lifetime destination.
The yacht charter industry is developing on the island. Using a service like Borrow a Boat will allow boat owners on the island to get ahead of the trend and be in position to take advantage of the millions of tourist dollars that will be part of the industry.
Helping the island grow as a destination and the opportunity to be involved in creating experiences for the tourist through hiring boats is something that really does look promising for the future.