The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Sri Lankan Airlines organised a series of events to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu in China, with a view to attracting Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka including those who will be travelling overseas during the Chinese “Spring Festival” holiday in February 2013.
Accordingly, Sri Lanka tourism pavilions were organized at the “China International Travel Mart 2012” (CITM) Exhibition held from 15 – 18 November 2012 in Shanghai and the “Chengdu International Travel Fair 2012” (CITF) Exhibition held from 30 November to 02 December 2012 in Chengdu. The Embassy of Sri Lanka, in consultation with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, designed the Sri Lanka pavilions to exhibit the 08 product categories of Sri Lanka tourism and were awarded the “Best Organizer Award” of CITM 2012 in Shanghai and “Certificate of Appreciation” at CITF 2012 in Chengdu. Sri Lankan Airlines and 12 leading tour operators from Sri Lanka participated at the exhibitions.
On the sidelines of the CITM Shanghai and the CITF Chengdu, the Embassy of Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau also organized “Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Road Shows” in Hangzhou on 19 November 2012 and in Chengdu on 01 December 2012. Over 20 leading travel operators from Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Airlines, 52 Chinese travel operators and 14 Chinese travel media organizations participated at the events. The Sri Lankan and Chinese travel operators appreciated the Road Shows as they had provided them with a platform for closer interaction enabling them to establish direct business partnerships with reputed Chinese / Sri Lankan travel operators. The events were given a wide coverage of publicity in the Chinese media.
Also on the sidelines of the CITM Shanghai and CITF Chengdu, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China Ranjith Uyangoda held meetings with senior officials of the Shanghai, Chengdu and Hangzhou Municipal Tourism Administrations and sought their support in promoting Sri Lanka tourism in those top cities. The officers representing the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing, the Sri Lanka Consulates in Shanghai and Chengdu and the Sri Lankan Airlines were also present at the meetings. The Chinese tourism administration officials assured their utmost cooperation for Sri Lanka in promoting Sri Lanka tourism in China.
China had approximately 57 million outbound tourists in 2011. According to the “Outbound Tourists” Research Institute of China, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu have been identified as among the top 10 Chinese cities with the highest number of outbound tourists.