Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
May 18, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka tourism promotion office says, the Island is expecting a US tourism boom following the recently produced Disney documentary movie “Monkey Kingdom’s ticket sales crossing 14.3 million US dollars as at day 28 in United States.
“This is a big win for Sri Lanka as in the documentary category for a demand chain to bring in this footfall is a good start as we attract only a 45,000 visitors from the US,” Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism said.
“We must see how the momentum picks up on the brand life cycle of “Monkey Kingdom” especially in our focused markets of Europe,”
“If it does, we can make it a social networking tool for Sri Lanka tourism by linking tour operators and their families when launched at the cinemas and do focused promotions,”
“We must use this vehicle to position Sri Lanka for its diversity and rich cultural heritage.”
“Monkey Kingdom” a feature-length wildlife documentary released in US cinemas on 17th April is due be rolled out to 12,000 cinemas across the US.
Filmed around Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, the film documents the life of a troop of wild toque-macaque monkeys (rilaw). The movie talks about a gripping reality of a newborn monkey and its mother, struggling to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins found deep in the storied jungles of South Asia- in a beautiful island Sri Lanka
The movie is directed by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, who were responsible for other Disney blockbusters such as ‘Earth’, which grossed more than 100 million dollars at the box office, the promotion office said.
This is the eighth True Adventure film and the sixth released theatrically by Disney nature, an independent film label of Walt Disney Studio. The last such documentary fetched 35 million dollar ticket sales.
Haley P, a film critic has commented on the film saying,
“This is a great nature documentary, especially if you like monkeys and, contributions from ticket sales of this movie will help save the monkeys in south Asia.”
The statement had also quoted an American kid saying that, “My favourite part of this movie is when all the monkeys are playing with each other and swinging from their homemade “original” jungle gym. I also like the part when the lower class runs out of food and have to find a way to survive. They locate the humans’ house and raid their kitchen. They even confiscate all the eggs from the hen house!! It is hysterical to see a monkey running off with a sub sandwich.”
Disney predicts that ‘Monkey Kingdom’ will be a hit with families everywhere and has released a 74-page educators’ guide with school projects, games and quizzes for children.
Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 18 per cent to 157,051 in March 2015 from a year earlier with a surge in tourist arrivals from China and cumulative as at end 1st quarter to 478,838 with a growth of 13.6 per cent, data from the state tourism promotion office showed.
Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals were up 8.5 percent to 122,217 in April 2015, from a year earlier driven by growth in the Indian and Chinese markets, official data shows.
Arrivals from USA, the Island’s 9th biggest market rose 20.8 percent to 15,970 from Jan –Apr 2015 from 13,217 a year earlier.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
By Mark Kinver
Sri Lanka has lost an estimated 76% of its mangrove forests over the past 100 years
Sri Lanka has become the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Certain magnificent creatures have sought a safe haven in the seas off the North West of Sri Lanka, and made those waters, their home. In a bid to discover the wonders of these gentle giants the News1st team entered their territory only to witness something amazing.
Sri Lanka is known the world over for its Sun, Sand and Sea. Annually, hundreds of thousands of tourists, both local and foreign, flock to Sri Lanka’s coastline and beaches, which span nearly 1500 kilometers in length, to bask in the glory of these natural elements.
However, only a handful of people know of the Gentle Giants that exist a few feet under the surface of the ocean. Fewer still have been lucky to see them and interact with them.
The News1st team did get this golden opportunity to have a close encounter with these Gentle Giants, when we visited the North Western shores of Sri Lanka recently.
The whales and other marine mammals that swim the waters off Sri Lanka are a natural resource to us. They enrich our biodiversity while keeping the marine ecosystem in balance. Studies show that Sri Lankan waters are home to the largest concentration of Blue Whales in the world, these mammals also have the potential of becoming a major tourist attraction for Sri Lanka.
Wildlife Photographer and Filmmaker Patrick Dykstra notes that all around the world humans almost single-handedly caused the extinction of the biggest animal that inhabited the planet. He adds that at one time there were over 350 000 Blue Whales worldwide but following the whaling era, there may be as little as 3000.
Whales tend to migrate seasonally from one well-defined habitat to another. The location of marine mammal habitats is mainly defined by food availability. Areas such as Kalpitiya, Mirissa, Dondra and Trincomalee are known to be teeming with these Marine mammals.
However if we tend to be careless and exploit these creatures, by depleting their food sources through illegal fishing methods or engage in unethical tourism practices, such as steering boats too close to these animals, we could drive them away from our waters.
Unlike other animals such as the Elephant and Leopard who are confined to the boundaries of Sri Lanka, these mammals could swim away and never return, and nothing we do, could ever bring them back.
Research Director of the Center for Research on Indian Ocean Marine Mammals Howard Martenstyn says that the whales and dolphins that visit Sri Lanka are a critical resource to the country and it is an important to be more aware of these magnificent creatures.
Speaking to News 1st Founder Chairman of National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) Dr. Hiran W. Jayawardene emphasized on the need to enforce regulations in order to protect these marine mammals. Dr. Hiran W. Jayawardene says that the regulation of the Whale watching industry is poor, he notes that although regulations are in place there is dire need to properly enforce these regulations.
He adds that country could adopt systems from countries such as New Zealand and the United States of America that have have examples of a well regulated Whale watching industry.
Our plea to Sri Lanka and to the rest of the world is to remember that every time we take a boat and go out to sea, we are entering their domain and not vice versa. We need to protect and manage these Gentle Giants, study them, and learn about them, so that we can save them for our future generations.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
A collection of wildlife images taken by Jetwing Eco Holidays naturalist guide Anura Bandara over the last few months
Labels: Blue Magpie, Blue Whales, Elephants, Leopards, Mugger Crocodile, Spotted Deer, Tour Images, Udawalawe National Park, Yala National Park