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