Dancers perform during a cultural dance show to promote tourism in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on March 25, 2022. (Photo by Ajith Perera/Xinhua)
"China is an important market for Sri Lanka," said Nishad Wijetunga, president of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators, noting that Sri Lanka received over 167,000 Chinese tourists in 2019.
COLOMBO, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan tour operators are eyeing the Chinese market in 2023, the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) said on Wednesday.
"China is an important market for Sri Lanka," said Nishad Wijetunga, president of the SLAITO.
Wijetunga said that in 2019, Sri Lanka received over 167,000 Chinese tourists.
Dancers from Sri Lanka perform during the 2019 China International Travel Mart (CITM) held in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, Nov. 15, 2019. (Xinhua/Jiang Wenyao)
If Sri Lanka can get a similar number of tourists in the short to medium term, it will greatly boost the industry, he said.
The total number of tourist arrivals for this year between January and Dec. 20 was 678,392, according to the Sri Lankan tourism authority.
Tourism, one of Sri Lanka's leading foreign exchange earners, has suffered a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the country's economic and political crises.
Sri Lanka aims to attract around 1.5 million tourists in 2023 and 3 million tourists in 2024, Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando said earlier this month. ■