Chinese travellers courted | Daily News

Chinese travellers courted

The Sri Lankan embassy in China is actively courting Chinese travellers. Before the pandemic, China produced 169 million international travellers and the country is looking to tap into that pent-up demand.

Sri Lankan ambassador to China Dr Palitha Kohona said, “Sri Lanka is waiting with open arms to welcome Chinese travellers.”

Dr Kohona was speaking to Chinese travel industry stakeholders on a joint webinar by the embassy and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau on 3 February.

Chinese travellers are currently unable to visit many international destinations due to travel restrictions. China is currently facing winter and the culture has a high propensity for international travel.

Dr Kohona said, “Measures are in place to ensure the safety of both the visitors and the locals. The airport is already open.”

Dr Kohona explained to the Chinese travel stakeholders that Sri Lanka had successfully contained COVID-19.

The country was ranked in the top 10 countries for its management of COVID by an impartial agency. The country has only 300 deaths linked to COVID-19 in spite of having a population of over 22 million. Dr Kohona was of the view that China had successfully managed the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Kohona noted that Chinese travellers by visiting Sri Lanka they would be in the unique situation wherein they could do whale-watching in the morning and watch wild elephants in the evening.

As an initial measure, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Sri Lankan embassy in China are to facilitate media agencies to travel across Sri Lanka to help build impressions of the country.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Kimarli Fernando said, “Chinese visitors are the most important to Sri Lanka.” All international travellers are not subject to a minimum stay.

Fernando noted that travellers would be able to travel within Sri Lanka freely within the travel bubble created. Travellers will have to do a PCR test before arrival which is in line with the requirements of most airlines. PCR tests will be done on arrival at the hotels. Visitors may travel more freely after being in the country for 14 days. There will be no PCR tests for children below 12 years.

The airport opening has been successful. Foreign travellers have visited the country without major incident.

The majority of tourists have been from Europe notably Germany, France, and the Netherlands. German media has already been allowed to visit Sri Lanka to help give potential German and other European traveller’s strong impressions of the country.