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Senior Chinese government official discusses tourism cooperation with Sri Lanka

Senior Chinese government official discusses tourism cooperation with Sri Lanka

Communist Party of China Politburo member Yang Jiechi has reportedly discussed with Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa about tourism cooperation between China and Sri Lanka during Jiechi’s high level visit to the island nation recently.
Following a request made by Sri Lankan to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit the island after Covid-19, the senior Chinese official had assured both the President and Prime Minister that Chinese leaders and government attach high importance to the tourism cooperation between the two countries. Jiechi has further noted that China understood tourism is a top most concern for Sri Lanka and will keep the request under serious consideration.

Tourism authorities and operators from Sri Lanka and China are expected to hold further discussion on how to set up travel bubble bilaterally or regionally.

Considering both China and Sri Lanka have successfully brought the pandemic under control, there is a very big chance for Sri Lanka to be among the first batch of destinations for Chinese tourists after outbound travel from China being resumed, local media reports stated.

Recalling his good memories and feelings on traveling to the island, Jiechi had said, “When I first visited Sri Lanka in 1981 accompanying then Chinese Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Huang Hua, I was amazed by this beautiful green ‘gem stone’ in the blue ocean at an immediate glance through the window of Air Lanka flight. Sri Lanka is definitely of great potentials to attract more and more tourists from China.” 
Over 260,000 Chinese tourists had visited Sri Lanka in 2018, and the number decreased to about 167,000 in 2019 mainly because of the Easter Sunday bombings.

Overall, a total of 169.21 million outbound trips were made by Chinese tourists in 2019, which is an increase of 4.5% from the previous year, according to a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China in February this year.

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Relations between Sri Lanka and China keeps strengthening continuously creating many business/investment opportunities in the island nation. Sri Lanka figures prominently in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) resulting in many Chinese investments entering the island. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, ease of doing business environment and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it a business hub in the South Asian region. Chinese businesses/investors could therefore explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and vice versa. Also, foreign businesses looking at engaging with China could look at setting up base in Sri Lanka to do business with China.  

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Article Code : VBS/AT/26102020/Z_2

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