Home » Sri Lanka taps Chinese tourism potential targeting 150,000 tourists in 2023

Sri Lanka taps Chinese tourism potential targeting 150,000 tourists in 2023

Sri Lanka is tapping Chinese tourism potential of 372 million in the world to reawaken the Covid-19 and economic crisis battered the hospitality industry of the island nation, tourism ministry sources said. Tourism ministry is targeting up to 150,000 tourists from China in 2023, after the country opened outward tourism and is in talks to get more Chinese airlines to fly to Colombo, officials revealed. “We expect between 140,000 – 150,000 Chinese tourists this year and destinations focusing on sports and adventure are popular with Chinese tourists,” Chalaka Gajabahu, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) claimed. . He said “As China is an agent driven market, we have done four roadshows in towns across China which has a direct air connectivity with Colombo.” Sri Lanka was in the first set of countries designated for group travel by China after the country re-opened for tourism after lifting Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Chinese tourist arrivals have been one of the key strengths of the Sri Lankan tourism industry. Mainly thanks to an announcement made in February this year by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, placing Sri Lanka among the Top 20 countries for tourism. SRI Lanka Prime minister Dinesh,” Gunawardena  call for a joint effort between our countries to enhance tourism as collectively both countries  have much more to offer. Let us not forget that this century belongs to Asia. This is Asia’s century , he said.Prime Minister was  participating as the chief guest at the 7th China-South Asia Exhibition jointly organised by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Yunnan State Government in Kunming. As of July end, Sri Lanka had welcomed 29, 924 Chinese tourists compared to just 1, 850 in the same period in 2022. Earnings from tourism industry surpassed the US$ 1 billion milestone by end July. Provisional data from the Central Bank revealed that earnings from tourism for the first seven months of the year totaled US$ 1.094 billion, a 43.1 percent increase when compared with the corresponding period in 2022. Latest tourism statistics showed that from 1 January to 10 August, Sri Lanka welcomed a total of 819, 507 international visitors. Meanwhile, Gunawardena thanked China for the support extended by them towards Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring. “We acknowledge with appreciation that China has extended much-needed support in the debt restructuring process, which was essential to secure international support. We are confident that China will extend continued cooperation in the future towards Sri Lanka’s broader economic recovery,” he said.

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