Until November 2011, when Sri Lankas fi rst Expressway opened, the only way to this historic fort was via crowded trains or an even more crowded two-lane road.Hence, the opening of the Southern Expressway, which links Galle to the capital city of Colombo, marks a turning point in southern tourism industry. Earlier both Galle and Kandy were two-day destinations for tourists. However, with the construction of the Southern Expressway Galle became a one day destination. The result was
doubling of tourist arrivals to Galle.
Most of the tourists arriving at Galle city have the desire to explore the roots of their ancestors. They seek the most accurate and reliable information whenever possible.Tour guides are one of the key front-line players in the tourism industry. Through their knowledge and interpretation of a destination's attractions and culture, and their communication and service skills, they have the ability to transform the tourists visit from a tour into an unforgettable experience.
The lack of the trained tour guides around Galle fort has created dissatisfaction among tourists who has spent large amounts of money to come to Sri Lanka. This situation creates a negative impact on the tourist industry of Sri Lanka. Tour guides are one of the key front-line players in the tourism industry. On the other hand most of the people who represent themselves as professional tour guides are self appointed tour guides. They tend to deal with inaccurate data and to have unethical practices. They have not received any formal training. Their knowledge about the history of the fort is minimal. As such they pass on incorrect information to the tourists. Apart from that most of the businesses pay these guides to promote their businesses.
The only source of accurate information on which the tourists can rely on is the library at Galle Fort. It contains a limited number of printed materials which are written in English. Even the library cannot cope with the demand for the materials comprising historical details about Galle fort by both local and foreign tourists. This vital problem has motivated for the study and for implementation of applications such as interactive digital maps where the tourists can get authentic, reliable and accurate information, which would ll the gap in demand and supply for trained tour guides.
A group of students from University of Ruhuna developed this map with financial assistance provided by the Galle Heritage Foundation.