Bay of Unawatuna is the home for some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Unawatuna is a beach holiday destination, located 120 km from Colombo or about 5 Km from the beautiful city of Galle. The Unawatuna is a derived from “Onna-wetuna” means “there it fell. Unawatuna bay is separated from the sea by a coral reef, which is about 100 meters off the Unawatuna beach. Unawatuna is a safe place for year round swimming due to its geographical location with the protective coral reef. History of Unawatuna goes back to the pre Christian era and Unawatuna is surrounded by several historical and religious places such “Wella Devala”.
Unawatuna is one of the best places for diving and snorkeling in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. There are large numbers of ship wrecks off the coast of Unawatuna. These ship wrecks and the coral reefs around Unawatuna are inhabited by large number of underwater Fauna, Flora species. These reefs, ship wrecks, coral fish, cave, and a reef formation attracts large number of divers to Unawatuna from the world. Unawatuna is one of the convenient places for Whale watching excursions in southern Sri Lanka. One can reach the areas, where the whales often sighted from Unawatuna in about 2 hours boat ride. Other than the diving and snorkeling Unawatuna is popular for other activities such as sea nothing, surfing, fishing etc.
Unawatuna is visited by tens of thousands of tourists every year and most of them are from European countries such as Germany, England, France, Italy etc. Even though Unawatuna is a popular beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka it is lack of large hotels. More than ninety percent of accommodations in the area are provided in small guest houses and rest houses. These guest houses and rest houses are managed by private individuals and those properties are in operation for long time. Most of these properties are constructed long time ago without any proper evaluation on the environment. Several of them are disposing sewage and other wastage direct to the sea in the area causing water pollution around Unawatuna.
Sri Lanka has recorded large number of tourist arrivals after the end of north-east civil war in 2009 and large portion of it anchored in Unawatuna and other areas in south-west Sri Lanka. With increasing number of tourists, room occupancy has been increased in the area. Most of the guest houses have increased their room capacity in the last few years making fairly large constructions. Still they keep minimum attention on environment which helps them to earn money. If the trend continues the water around Unawatuna will be polluted and it will be unhealthy for the human as well as other sea creatures. Most of the construction is situated very near the beach and collection of garbage can be seen on the beach.
Unawatuna is one of the best beaches in the world due to its clean, clear water and sandy beaches not having these conditions in the future will deprive the tourist influx that we have today, making the owners of the hotels around Unawatuna suffer from the nature destruction being done today. Sri Lanka is a beautiful island; especially the natural beauty of the island is adorned by the foreigners. It is one of the most important attractions of the Sri Lanka tourism and keeping it clean and secure for the future will secure that we can continue the upbeat of tourism in the island in the long run.