When tourism began growing in the early 1970s with the entry of the Bentota tourist complex and Negombo also as a base resort, Ebert Silva’s fleet of tourist-specific buses was the only one around at the time.
Forty years on, there are others that have come in strongly like Aitken Spence, John Keells, Hemas, Jetwing, etc but the Ebert Silva fleet still stands out of the crowd.
The founder of this initiative, Ebert Silva, passed away recently at the age of 79, ending an important and glorious chapter in Sri Lankan tourism and transportation. The late Mr Silva, according to a statement issued by Sri Lanka Tourism, had continued the business his father started in 1928, and later named it after him.
He not only operated a model transport service during those pre-nationalization days but also diversified into bus charters and coach services for domestic travelers as well as for foreign visitors. He was also felicitated at the Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism 2009, with the highest tribute and accolade in the Industry as a ‘Legend’ in recognition of his lasting and outstanding contribution which has spanned well over five decades.
“Despite many hardships and formidable challenges including limited resources, the commitment and vision of legendary pioneers in the likes of Ebert Silva no doubt has enabled the industry to reach the present heights,” the statement said. Today Ebert Silva Touring Co, Ltd is a market leader and a forerunner of the tourism industry possessing the largest privately owned fleet of modern vehicles of numerous models and capacities.