Sri Lanka targets China tourists

Mar 01, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will invite over 100 travel agents from China as part of efforts to boost visitors from the country where outbound tourism is growing, minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. The cabinet of minister had approved a proposal by minister Basil Rajapaksa to invite the travel agents on a familiarization tour of the country.

In 2013 Sri Lanka is targeting 60,000 Chinese visitors as part of efforts to attract 1.25 million tourists an ambitious 25 percent growth over 2012.

In 2012 visitors from China grew 58.1 percent to 25,781.

China has become a key outbound travel market in recent years with the country becoming the top source of visitors for many East Asian nations. Chinese are also a key contributor to Maldives.

Minister Rambukwelle the Chinese market was being developed as part of efforts to reduce the dependency on European visitors with India and China becoming large economic powers.

India does not need special promotion because of cultural affinities and because it is very close he said.

Visitors from India started to grow after visas were lifted in mid 2010. Last year visas were re-imposed. Growth fell to 2.9 percent.