Sri Lanka to receive first group of post-pandemic Chinese tourists in March


Sri Lanka is about to obtain its first group of post-pandemic Chinese language vacationers after turning into one of many first 20 international locations to renew the group of outbound group vacationers from China since COVID-19.

Their flight will depart from the Shanghai Pudong Worldwide Airport on March 3.

“We predict Chinese language vacationers to come back again quickly, however their specific curiosity has been to international locations nearer to China,” Anura Fernando, the consul basic of Sri Lanka in Shanghai, stated throughout an interview with China Day by day in regards to the nation’s eagerness to obtain extra vacationers from China.

As quickly because the Chinese language Ministry of Tradition and Tourism introduced the choice to permit journey companies to renew reserving teams to journey to twenty international locations and areas on Feb 6, the Sri Lanka consul basic started to work carefully with journey companies and different companions to reopen direct flights between Shanghai and Colombo, its capital metropolis.

With its tropical local weather, in addition to wealthy and various cultural heritage, Sri Lanka has been a preferred vacation spot for holidaymakers from world wide. In 2018, the nation obtained a document variety of 280,000 vacationers from China.

“Since most Chinese language haven’t traveled overseas for 3 years, they’re nearer locations,” he says, including “however I feel Sri Lanka must be engaging to most Chinese language vacationers”.

He notes that the wealthy heritage of Buddhist tradition, tea plantations, gem stones, in addition to its pure magnificence and water actions, are all interesting for Chinese language vacationers. Now that the pandemic is over, and Sri Lanka has emerged from the financial disaster, Fernando hopes that “this yr vacationers’ numbers will improve to about 1 million”.

China is the largest buying and selling companion of Sri Lanka and the biggest supply of international investments. With the signing of a free commerce settlement anticipated to be made this yr, Fernando believes the commerce quantity will improve between the 2 international locations.

One of many first international locations concerned in China’s Belt and Street Initiative, Sri Lanka has witnessed main initiatives constructed by China, such because the Port Metropolis in Colombo that kicked off in 2014. The development course of was slowed down due to the pandemic, and now that the Chinese language staff are returning, he says the development has restarted, with a brand new worldwide monetary heart anticipated to be accomplished within the coming two years when it can begin functioning.

Sri Lanka has a big Chinese language group so “Chinese language vacationers are very a lot at house”, with Chinese language eating places and Chinese language-speaking tour guides.

“We’ve got a number of cultural bonding,” Fernando says. “As a lot as we’d like the international foreign money, we additionally want extra friendship with the Chinese language folks”.

From the Bandaranaike Memorial Worldwide Convention Corridor in 1973, to the Lotus Tower unveiled in 2019, China has helped assemble monumental constructions in Sri Lanka, that are proof of the shut ties between the 2 international locations. This yr marks the twentieth anniversary of “sister cities” ties between Shanghai and Colombo, and the consul basic hopes extra cultural, tourism and enterprise communication may improve the friendship between Chinese language and Sri Lankan folks.

Supply: China Day by day

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