D.A.C. Silva, Senior Lecturer,, Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo and K.C. Vithanage, MEcon Student, Department of Economics, University of Colombo
Tourism is one of the largest and the fastest growing industries in the world economy. Tourism industry is also the fourth highest foreign exchange generator of the economy in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, agro-tourism, which is a new dimension of alternative tourism development to the traditional mass tourism, will have great potentials with manifold opportunities to develop Sri Lanka tourism industry in sustainable manner. Agro-tourism is part of rural tourism and relates to tourism on farms, plantations and home gardens. Agriculture has always been deeply related with the social, cultural and economic aspects of Sri Lankan history.
This study recognized the major determinants of both supply and demand sides of agro-tourism in Sri Lanka and estimates the feasibility of promoting agro-tourism by taking a case study. This case study was the Fruit Crop Research and Development Center located in Horana, and on the demand side at the Airport departure launch. Feasibility of the location was measured by the assessment tool, which was developed by Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd in Queensland, Australia. Since the outcome of the potential index of the assessment tool is positive, the researcher has developed the hypothetical sustainable tourism destination with a stakeholder analysis. The demand side survey was carried out through face-to-face interviews. The interviews were designed to get information including trip characteristics, on the social and economical background of the respondents, and along with that a Choice Experiment was carried out. The study was targeted to carry out a contingency valuation method with identifying the...