Mirissa, the tourist destination in the south now bustling with a growing number of whale and dolphin watching-enthusiasts recorded the highest number of whale-watching excursionists on January 2 and 926 tourists on 24 boats left the Mirissa Fisheries harbour on whale and dolphin watching excursions.
According to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, which monitors whale and dolphin watching activities in Mirissa, a record number of 18,051 tourists visited Mirissa for whale watching excursions from September to December last year.
A spokesman for the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Commander Rohan Joseph said of the 18,051 tourists who arrived in Mirissa for whale-watching excursions 16,784 were foreigners. Only 1,267 locals visited Mirissa for whale watching.
Tourists from China, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Russia and the USA frequently visit Mirissa for whale watching excursions. In December alone, 10,720 tourists arrived in Mirissa on whale watching excursions while 4,554 tourists arrived in November.
At present 34 boats in Mirissa have been registered with the Wild Life Conservation Department to operate boats to observe sea mammals and most of them are having a thriving business due to the increased number of tourists arriving for whale watching.
"The number of tourist arrivals for whale watching is on the increase after Coast Guard personnel undertook the monitoring of whale watching activities from September last year to ensure the safety of tourists and that boat operators do not disturb the whales and dolphins in their efforts to attract more tourists," he said.