With the view of promoting Sri Lanka as a popular tourist destination, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) organised a familiarisation tour for 14 leading travel agents from China, together with Malaysian Airlines.
The travel agents from China met Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and had prospective discussions in developing the Chinese inbound tourism market.
Fourteen leading travel agents, including Malaysia Airlines Xiamen, participated in this familiarisation tour, which provided a comprehensive picture on the potential of Sri Lanka as a popular tourist destination. Bhashwara Gunarathna, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism, also participated in the discussion.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau especially arranged for them to cover the areas of Dambulla, Sigiriya, Kandy, Galle, Hikkaduwa, and Colombo. These agents had opportunity to visit these places which would help them to package their tours to Chinese visitors.
Sri Lanka Tourism also took steps to arrange a business networking meeting, as a part of this familiarisation tour, with the participation of 35 tour operators of Sri Lanka, who are currently active in the Chinese tourism market at Colombo.
By the end of November this year, the number of arrivals to Sri Lanka from China amounted to 22,176 with the increase of 46% compared to last year.
For 2013, the target has been set to 60,000 arrivals, which is seemingly accessible with the number of promotional activities executed under the guidance of the Ministry of Economic Development.