‘Lanka yet to tap tourism potential of China’ | Daily News

‘Lanka yet to tap tourism potential of China’

Marketing campaign should commence without delay
Chinese tourists in Sri Lanka last year
Chinese tourists in Sri Lanka last year

Sri Lankan Tourism sector has failed to woo travelers from the largest tourism destination in the world, China, Sri Lankan Ambassador designate to China. Dr. Palitha Kohona said.

He was addressing a seminar on Opportunities in China for Sri Lanka organized by Director, Federation of Chamber of Commerce, (FCCISL) and Managing Director- Sripalie Construction, Ruwan De Silva and Senior Vice President FCCISL, Keerthi Gunaratne in Colombo on Tuesday.


Dr. Palitha Kohona

He said that on average over 169 million Chinese tourists travel out (prior to Covid19 pandemic) from China each year and Sri Lanka has only succeeded in getting on average 265,000 arrivals from China while Thailand gets around 26 million Chinese arrivals.

He said that the local travel sector must look at providing a better ‘Chinese oriented service’ for Chinese tourists in Sri Lanka.

He also said that there were several reports that spice gardens and gem shops are not providing a good service especially to Chinese tourists and this aspect should be investigated. “A Sri Lankan gem company has also sold fake Sri Lankan gems at the Shanghai Expo and these tarnish the good image of Sri Lanka.”

There are several large Chinese tourism based FDI going to several other Asian countries but Sri Lanka has failed to attract them as well.

He said that the main reason for this is that a Chinese language focused digital marketing campaign was not professionally launched in China by the Sri Lankan travel sector. “Chinese are crazy web surfers and Sri Lanka must focus on this point in the future.”

He said that in addition there is a large and growing middle class with high spending power who are keen on travel and this segment should be targeted in the future. He also said that the covid pandemic is not eradicated in China and in the last few months over 600 million Chinese tourists were engaged in domestic tours.

‘However currently Chinese are not allowed to travel out but the marketing can start soon.”


A seminar on Opportunities in China for Sri Lanka was organized by Director, Federation of Chamber of Commerce, (FCCISL) and Managing Director- Sripalie Construction, Ruwan De Silva and Senior Vice President FCCISL, Keerthi Gunaratne in Colombo last week. Some of the participants for the event with Sri Lankan Ambassador designate to China. Dr. Palitha Kohona.