Sri Lanka welcomes 1st Chinese tour groups in 3 years

Sri Lanka welcomes 1st Chinese tour groups in 3 years

Chinese tourists arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka, March 1, 2023. Sri Lanka’s tourism authority held a ceremony on Wednesday night at the country’s main Bandaranaike International Airport to welcome the first batch of Chinese tour groups in three years.(Photo by Ajith Perera/Xinhua)

COLOMBO, March 2 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka’s tourism authority held a ceremony on Wednesday night at the country’s main Bandaranaike International Airport to welcome the first batch of Chinese tour groups in three years.

Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said at the airport that he was happy to receive the first tour groups from China and the South Asian country is expecting more Chinese tourists to come.

Featured with beautiful scenery and friendly people, Sri Lanka is expected to receive more Chinese tourists, which is an important part of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, said Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong.

Priantha Fernando, chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, said earlier that the SriLankan Airlines would operate nine flights a week starting from April to destinations in China, and it would facilitate travel between the two countries.

Tourism, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign exchange earners, has suffered a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic and political crises in the island country.

Sri Lanka aims to attract around 1.5 million tourists in 2023 and 3 million in 2024.

Chinese tourists arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka, March 1, 2023. Sri Lanka’s tourism authority held a ceremony on Wednesday night at the country’s main Bandaranaike International Airport to welcome the first batch of Chinese tour groups in three years.(Photo by Ajith Perera/Xinhua)

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