Focused marketing plan launched for China as arrivals rise by 84.5%

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau launched a focused marketing program to the Chinese market with the private sector, in the presence of the Deputy Mission Head of the People’s Republic of China Sri Lanka High Commission. Overall arrivals registered growth of 81.5% in the month of March reaching 13,975 tourist arrivals and cumulative numbers registered 84.5% growth recording 53,135 tourists for the first quarter, said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala at the launch of ‘Sri Lanka In My Eyes’ on WECHAT and WEIBO targeting the Chinese market at the Hilton Colombo.

The Chinese Embassy of Sri Lanka Deputy Head of Mission Ren Faqiang commented: “I like the aggressive but focused strategy of Sri Lanka Tourism in China. It is well thought through and moreover accountable for delivery of results. Already you have access to five key markets and focusing on testing a market development program on the Shi-shuan Province is commendable given the accessibility for direct air travel between Chengdu and Colombo.”

Sri Lanka is targeting 200,000 tourists from China this year, making it the number two market for Sri Lanka tourism, beating the traditional market UK in the country’s tourism history, said Athukorala. “I am concerned as to why formal sector occupancy is not reflective of the hype in the numbers. The reality is that the informal tourism sector is benefiting heavily from the current marketing strategies. We must see how this can be corrected with some strategic partnerships with blue chip companies post Board approval,” said Athukorala.

Present at the launch from the private sector were Mervyn Fernandopulle – ASMET, Chandra Wickramasinghe – SLAITO, Shiromal Cooray – GSA China Air, Milanka Gajanayake – Managing Director, SLTPB, Madhubani Perera – Marketing Director, SLTPB, and Chintaka Liyanarachchi, Market Head of China, SLTPB.















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