To further encourage major Chinese travel operators to promote Sri Lanka as a destination of choice, post-COVID-19, The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing, hosted a ‘Sri Lanka Tourism and Culture Event’ on 25 October 2022 in collaboration with around 60-70 tour operators, travel agencies and media.
Among the participants were the UN Resident Coordinator in China, CITS, Smile Time, Sri Lanka Airlines in Beijing, CYTS, Zhonghe Travel, CAISSA Travel, Spring International Travel, China Cruise Industry Development, Ctrip, Wu Zhouxing Travel, Fashion Travel, and other travel agencies specialising on Sri Lanka tourism. Ties with the major Chinese travel agencies and tour operators have been enhanced and would likely increase the flow of tourists to Sri Lanka once the China travel restrictions are relaxed.
The Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona addressing the gathering said “Sri Lanka has opened its borders for some time now and travellers can enter Sri Lanka without any restrictions. Almost every place of tourist interest has been reopened to travellers. Despite the social unrest, earlier this year, Sri Lanka tourism has been gradually returning to normalcy. So far, we are receiving visitors from all over the world.”
Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona also invited all participants and their families to visit Sri Lanka when the Chinese restrictions are relaxed and experience the beauty and hospitality of Sri Lanka.
“The development of tourism has been at the center of Sri Lanka’s economic policies for decades and the source of much growth. Now is the opportunity to promote sustainable tourism, protect cultural heritage and the environment, and foster local economic development and long-term sustainability,” said Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, the UN Resident Coordinator in China. The Embassy also invited representatives from the major travel agencies to speak on stage. They were full of expectations and confidence and were committed to promote Sri Lanka as a tourism destination of choice.
Mr. Zhong Hui, the Chairman of Fashion Travel, Mrs. Han Chunyan, Manager of the Outbound Department, Zhong He Travel, Mr. Zhou Lei, Manager of the Outbound Department, Beijing Spring Travel Service Co. LTD, Mr. Feng Lei, Chairman of Smile Times Travel Service Co. LTD, Mrs. Gao Ran, General Manager, South East Asia Tourism Department -CAISSA Group, also spoke and said that they will extend their fullest support to bring more Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka when the border restrictions are relaxed.
Mr. Zheng Weihang, the Vice President of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association, discussed with the Ambassador, the possibility of cruise ships visiting Sri Lanka after the epidemic. The Ambassador was enthusiastic about this notion and said that the Embassy would fully cooperate and assist to facilitate this initiative of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (Sri Lanka Embassy in China Media release).