Since a long time Mr. Pierre Pringiers, a dynamic and philanthropic actor of socio-economic development in Sri Lanka through its Building A Future Foundation, understood the importance of the ocean to the island of Sri Lanka: Historically for fishing, but today as a new source of tourism revenue for the local population. With a stable political situation for more than five years and ideal weather conditions for sailing, Sri Lanka gradually becomes an inevitable destination for yachting. Mr. Pierre Pringiers foresees the marine industry to directly serve the development of the island and the island’s population.
In the middle of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is ideally situated to play a major role in the world of boating. With 1340 km of coastline the island has many bays ideally suited for coastal navigation and is an ideal stopover on the way for around-the-world sailors. Beyond its many advantages related to sailing, Sri Lanka has become in recent years the popular tourist destination. Mountains and hills, nature reserves, tea plantations, culture and historical sites, surfspots, dream beaches lined by coconuts or even whale watching, Sri Lanka has no shortage of attractions. Over a million tourists visit the island every year. What remains is to provide adequate infrastructure for yachting and the Building A Future Foundation and its commercial spin offs strive to develop it.
At work the day after the tsunami, which devastated the southern coast of Sri Lanka end 2004, the Building A Future Foundation is committed to develop socio economic activities generating employment in the island through social entrepreneurship.
After the emergency response of the SLRT of rebuilding houses and fishing boats, BAF Foundation focuses on the long-term development by creating numerous entrepreneurial units gradually becoming independent.
With a fully equipped shipyard and three operational mini-marinas, Mr. Pierre Pringiers endows the country with all the infrastructure required for the growth of this industry. Many boats have been built in the shipyard such as sailing boats, Ribs, masts and sails but also equipment for marina’s, pontoons and mooring places. Underprivileged youth from the region are gradually trained by local and foreign experts to offer all the required services (mechanical and electrical engineering, boat building, sail making, pontoons making,…).
For over 10 years, BAF Foundation trains and makes the Sri Lankan youth familiar with the professions related to the maritime industry. First and foremost shipbuilding through the shipyard, then the use of sailing boats through the Runuhu Sailing Association which allows young, underprivileged Sri Lankans to learn to sail free of charge and finally all the services related to the industry, such as charter, rental, training and whale watching.
Latest addition after whale watching with Mirissa Water Sports and Day-charter on a 48 feet catamaran with Sail Lanka, BAF Foundation will launch a new commercial spin off “Sri Sail”, a complete offer for sailing in Sri Lanka. With a float of four Minibee 6.50, RIBs and PEARL (a charter catamaran), Sri Sail will offer a range of discoveries, rental opportunities with or without skipper, sailing courses with qualified Europeans instructors and the organisation of events such as team building or a weekend with friends.
Sri Lanka is becoming a chosen destination for sailing and BAF Foundation is motivated to contribute to this “green” socio economic development which directly benefit the local population.