Sri Lanka Tourism strengthens ties with Xinhua News Agency

  • Chinese arrivals +80.2% to 79,098 as at end May


Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala with Xinhua News Agency Colombo Bureau Chief Huang Haimin, Asia Pacific Daily VP/CEO Andy Jin, Asia Pacific Daily VP/General Manager Richard Guan and Xinhua News Agency Correspondent Jamila Najmuddin

In the backdrop of visitor arrivals touching 79,098 from China in the first five months of 2015 with cumulative growth at 80.2% against last year, Sri Lanka Tourism met with the key hierarchy of China’s largest news agency – Xinhua News Agency to strengthen the information sharing process base which can be mutually beneficial.

The discussions centred around how to build brand Sri Lanka in the key nation brand building pillars on the content channelled through 180 countries via the established bureaus and correspondence across the world of the Xinhua News Agency which will support the development of trade/tourism between the two countries given that the new ethos globally is trade tourism. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala said, “Xinhua has always been the main source for news and information in China and is in fact the voice of the government that stands to professional and sincere attitude to writing and reporting the truth and we are honoured to have a strong partnership with such a high calibre news agency.”

Athukorala shared some key highlights to how Sri Lanka Tourism does research to understand the consumer insights of a typical Chinese traveller before embarking on any of the key travel fairs or marketing activation in the Chinese market. “Later this month, we will be taking part in the largest travel fair in Beijing, China – the BITE World Travel Fair with a strong delegation of 56 top travel agents that will be followed with a road show on the theme ‘One island a thousand treasures’ as per the aggressive market development agenda to further deep root the economic and cultural relationship of the two countries,” voiced Chairman Athukorala.

“There after we are focussing on the Sichuan province where the Government of China has extended the Sri Lanka Pavilion to be at gratis that include Leshan television to cover the event. We want to develop the current flights from Chengdu to five times a week from the current three,” he said. The Vice President/CEO Andy Jin shared the different types of products that the Xinhua News Agency operates that includes eight languages in the form of text, photo and video. He also emphasised the value of the new media market, which is the facilitation of multimedia platforms such as the internet, mobile, indoor and outdoor screen terminals at public venues such as airports and hotels, social media, and the creation of regional news providers such as Asia Pacific Daily which covers 50 countries and aims to become the independent and most important voice of Asia.

Athukorala proposed initiating cooperation with Xinhua by means of having a special page or column within Xinhua news platforms to speak on new products of Sri Lanka Tourism on the premise ‘One island, thousand treasures’ where a typical traveller has the option of experiencing the top eight attractions either in a single visit or a repeat and commented that Xinhua  provides authoritativeness and objectiveness which is exactly what Sri Lanka requires given the status quo of the international brand life cycle that Sri Lanka tourism is in.  Concluding the discussion Xinhua News Agency Bureau Chief Huang Haimin said, “Let’s meet in Beijing on 28 June and cover the Sri Lanka pavillion the BITE World Travel Fair and take the discussion forward in a mutually beneficial manner.”

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