Journal of Economic Development
No. 213 , July 2012, Page 12-38

Agrotourism and Rural Development in Sri Lanka With Special Reference to Nuwara Eliya District

Sri Lanka is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. It has been one of the major tourist attractions since long. Tourism is booming in the island once again at the end of a long civil war though its benefits are still confined to a few locations under a few players in the industry. The island is rich in rural tourism resources with a great appealing to a visitor. Such resources range from fauna and flora, aesthetic landscapes, streams and waterfalls, irrigation tanks and canal systems, beautiful beaches, mouth-watering tropical fruits and vegetables, historical monuments, music, dance, festivities, authentic foods, beverages, traditional agriculture, local costume, indigenous medicine and healing methods, traditional arts and sports. The island carries an overwhelming majority of rural population and this will continue well into the middle of the century. Interestingly rural agricultural characteristics have been preserved to a great extent in many parts of the country as those areas have not yet received that much of urban influences. Similarly economic problems as well as development potentials still remain in agricultural areas side by side. Only a small fraction of the vast rural agrotourism resource base is being utilized by the industry now with little or no benefits to rural people. Dedicated research work on agrotourism will promote that sector with the participation of policy makers, rural communities and private investors on a sustainable manner while trickling down a reasonable fraction of the benefits to the rural people. This would diversify their agricultural livelihoods and improve their incomes and living standards. This paper examines agrotourism and rural development of Sri Lanka with special reference to Nuwara Eliya District, a popular rural tourism destination in Sri Lanka.

Agrotourism; Foods; Plantation; Fruits; Vegetable; Tourists; Rural Sector.
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