Lanka could muster USD 4 Bn wooing Chinese tourists - Dr Kohona | Daily News

Lanka could muster USD 4 Bn wooing Chinese tourists - Dr Kohona

Dr. Palitha Kohona
Dr. Palitha Kohona

Sri Lanka can easily muster USD 4 billion revenue in less than a year by opening doors for Chinese tourists and clearing red tape for their arrival to Colombo, said Sri Lanka Ambassador to China Dr. Palitha Kohona.

In an Exclusive interview with ‘Daily News Business’ from Beijing he said that almost all countries in Europe and several countries in Asia have opened their doors for Chinese tourists and Sri Lankan too should follow this path.

“Several ministers in Asian countries have personally gone to airports and received Chinese tourists as they know the value of Chinese arrivals.”

Given the early green light for Chinese arrivals, from Sri Lanka authorities I can guarantee that a minimum of one million Chinese tourists will arrive in Sri Lanka by 2023.

“They will stay a minimum of 5 to 6 days and each will spend about USD 100,000 and the total revenue generated by them would be in the excess of USD one billion!” he said.

“You must also take into account the indirect revenue Sri Lanka would get from aviation and other sectors due to Chinese arrivals to Sri Lanka.” Dr. Kohona said that all this put together total earnings will be similar to what the IMF first tenure negotiations would bring to Sri Lanka. He said during January and February 2023 over one billion Chinese will travel out for their new year and this travel pattern has already started.

He also said that the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka is fully supportive of bringing Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka. “However I can’t understand why Sri Lanka is still falling behind in this segment and delaying their arrivals.”

He said once Sri Lanka entertains Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka, investor confidence in China too would grow and would also lead to more investments especially to the Hambantota Port Free Economic zone and the Colombo Port City. Dr. Kohona said that though the C-19 is existing in China (like in other countries) it is being blown out of proportion by Western Media.

“If not, how did Western countries open doors and welcome Chinese tourists?” he asked.

Dr Kohona said that Chinese tourists upon return home need not undergo home quarantine.

Meanwhile, when contacted by ‘Daily News Business’, a senior Tourist Board official said that they are keen to accept Chinese tourists. “But we have to obtain a Health Ministry clearance for this.”


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