Sri Lanka’s Supreme Global Holdings and Alibaba Group owned ‘Alitrip’ which is now called ‘Fliggy’ launched the ‘Sri Lanka Pavilion’ in Fliggy’s tourism platform that will target to bring a million new Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka every year.
The grand launch was made in Beijing recently.
Alibaba, setting new standards in its globalization moves also launched an “online visa center” for Sri Lanka establishing ease of travel. This move will allow Chinese consumers to stay at home and use their smart phones to apply for their visas.
Both Alibaba and Supreme will work closely with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau on the project implementation which will result in large scale impact on Sri Lanka’s tourism positively. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to secure a major share of the 137 million Chinese tourists who travel overseas every year. Sri Lanka currently has secured only 230,000 out of this big market.
A notable feature of this very potential market is their habit of making payments using “Alipay”. Supreme Global intends to promote ‘Alipay’ actively in Sri Lanka upon receiving the necessary clearances eliminating this barrier thus taking Sri Lanka Tourism to new heights.
As part of Alibaba Group, ‘Fliggy’ has access to more than 500 million mobile monthly active users on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces. This means that by partnering with Alibaba Sri Lanka can gain valuable insights into the Chinese market, with massive access to better customize Sri Lanka’s tourism products and services for Chinese tourists.
In particular the Alibaba platform and data mining will enable specialist Chinese tourist interest to be fine tuned to the specialist Sri Lankan tourist market, be it be in Buddhist studies and history, eco tourism, biodiversity, tea cultivation or wild life and bird watching specialisation. R. M. Manivannan Chairman of Supreme Global Holdings said that this is one way Sri Lanka can develop high value added tourism, matching customer needs to services on offer on an individual case by case basis and link that to the specialist hotels that cater for a wide range of interest.
Zhou Zheng, Vice President of ‘Fliggy’ stated that “Belt and Road countries have strong potential for tourism, and the Chinese people’s tendency to go to the Belt and Road countries has been significantly enhanced in the past three years. Those traditional niche tourist destinations along the Belt and Road are also beginning to welcome more Chinese people and the Belt and Road countries are attractive to young consumers. Over 51 percent of ‘Fliggy’ users are born after 1990, the online visa to travel all the way to speed up, will bring the Belt and Road countries closer to Chinese consumers”.
Niranjan Deva Aditya conveying the Prime Minister’s congratulations said this was a watershed in the history of Sri Lankan tourism. Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku also welcomed Alibaba’s involvement in Sri Lanka and reiterated the embassy’s utmost commitment to promote Sri Lanka’s Tourism Industry.
According to a forecast by investment bank CLSA, Chinese outbound tourism is expected to hit 200 million people by 2020 from 137 million seen in 2016. Spending by Chinese overseas travellers is also projected to reach US$429 billion in 2021 compared with US$261 billion in 2016.