After all the hassles and hardships that went into the staging of the Galle Test match, the end result has been a triumph. Never mind what happens on the final day of the series, the impact is already abundantly clear from looking around the ground and the town itself. There is an air of renewal in the streets, even one of optimism. Perhaps it's a temporary glow, fuelled by the sense of occasion, but somehow I think not. The region has been put back on the map this week, and this time for the right reasons.

Vast swathes of Galle still look tired, as well they might after the devastation that the tsunami brought about, three years ago this week. The bus station behind the ground, which felt the fullest impact of the waves, has been particularly slow to recover. But the local economy has been vibrant this week, fuelled in no small part by 4000 England fans who've packed the bars and beach resorts, and lined the pockets of the innumerable tuk-tuk drivers who buzz around in anticipation of a windfall.

England has this effect on sleepy touring venues. Port Elizabeth three years ago and Brisbane last winter were two of the biggest economic winners of recent times, and though Galle won’t report quite such a profit margin, the bigger picture - once again - is the most important aspect. Tourism is an industry in which Sri Lanka deserves to be a world leader, but the memories of the tsunami, twinned with concerns about the conflict to the north, have undermined its standing as a paradise isle.

None of the 4000 fans in town have had any grounds for complaint or anxiety these week. For those who've not taken up residence in the wonderful old fort, there have been two principal accommodation areas. The surfer's hangout of Hikkaduwa, half an hour to the north, and the tranquil sandy bay of Unawatana, 20 minutes to the south. Both were badly hit in the disaster, but both have proved homes from home for a vast contingent of very satisfied customers.

Myself, I've been staying by the beach in Unawatana, at possibly the most peaceful hotel I've ever frequented on tour. The Beach Access Road, as it is unglamorously named, is a barely noticeable right turn from the main Galle Road. In a tuk-tuk, the journey involves five minutes of bouncing and weaving over a potholed sandy dirt-track - past palm trees, through puddles, around dozing livestock, and through a parade of wood-carving workshops and fabric stalls.

When I first arrived at The Villa, a magnificent eight-room boutique hotel with shady garden and beach frontage, I was momentarily alarmed to find I had no internet connection - a slight drawback in this profession. Never fear, right next door, set in the courtyard of a café was a tiny internet shack that became my personal office for the week. My routine became familiar to all the local tradesmen - arrive outside hotel, dump bags, unpack laptop, plug into system, and transfer my various files while observing monkeys swinging from the palm trees above my head, and while being fed and watered by the ever-watchful restaurant staff. Every now and again, a fellow Brit would wander in to use one of the two other terminals. Almost without fail, Cricinfo would be their first port of call.

Unawatana's bay is one of the best on the island, a graceful crescent of pale-yellow sand that extends for a mile along the coast. Every few metres fronts onto a different bar or restaurant - some grand and palatial, like the Unawatana Beach Resort, a ten-metre saunter through the surf, others small and intimate, like the Hot Rock Café, three trees down the road, which was packed to its close-knit rafters on Wednesday night, when the coast was battered by a tropical storm.

As it happens, I awoke the following morning with three inches of water on my hotel-room floor - it had somehow been buffeted in through a crack in the door. But my laptop was safe, and seeing as I was making straight for the beach for a morning swim, it didn't exactly matter a great deal. Such has been the story at all of England's staging posts for this series. Contentment has reigned among the travelling support - it's only the cricket team itself that has given them any cause for complaint.

Andrew Miller is the former UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and now editor of The Cricketer magazine