A SriLankan Airlines flight from Guangzhou, China has brought 115 Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka last night (March 01) for the first time after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasooriya and the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong and others were present to welcome the group of tourists.
Commenting at the event, Tourism Minister Harin Fernando mentioned that SriLankan Airlines and China Eastern Airlines flights will arrive in Sri Lanka 09 times a week to Shanghai, Beijing and Gongshu, the three cities of China from April 04.
“I have great confidence that Sri Lanka’s tourism industry can be built. China is the most populous country in the world. Even if 1% of that population arrives in Sri Lanka, we can resolve our problems.”
Minister Harin Fernando also explained the impact on tourists due to the ongoing strikes and trade union actions in the country.
“I request your struggle to be made your crisis. But don’t try to block the way for the country’s tourists and its development. It will make the country anarchy. I request you to allow the country to breathe for a year. Then we will do our politics.”
Meanwhile, tourism earnings have continued to grow, generating over US$ 162 million only in the month of January, as per reports.
The tourist arrivals in the past two months of this year have also shown rapid growth and it is reported that 210,184 individuals have visited the island during that period. – ada derana