Minister of Tourism Development John Amaratunga led the successful promotional drive that covered the key cities of Shanghai, Nanjing and Chengdu in China. Minister Amaratunga held many important meetings with tourism stakeholders in each city.
One such meeting was with Chairperson, Shanghai Tourism Administration, Ms. Xu Weiwan where important discussions took place with a view to increase outbound traffic to Sri Lanka and improving connectivity from Shanghai to Colombo. Minister Amaratunga invited Chairman Weiwan to visit Sri Lanka along with a delegation of tourism officials and industry experts on a fact finding tour.
Minister Amaratunga also visited the largest Online Travel Agency (OTA) in China, C-Trip and had a fruitful discussion with the CEO and top management of the company. The Minister was assured that every effort will be made to encourage individual travellers to visit Sri Lanka through the C-Trip platform. In Nanjing the Minister had an opportunity to visit the second biggest OTA in China, Tuniu and engaged in discussions with the top management to enhance the volume of individual travellers to Sri Lanka.
In Chengdu the Minister and his delegation participated at the Sri Lanka Tourism Product Promotion Forum which was organised by a leading DMC in association with the Sichuan Tourism Administration. Following the event Minister Amaratunga was interviewed by a leading media institution on the tourism potential in Sri Lanka.
The Minister also visited Sichuan Airlines headquarters and engaged in discussions with the CEO and top management. Sichuan Airlines is currently in the process of commencing direct flight operations between Chongqing and Colombo. The airline management requested the Minister to facilitate ground handling and other arrangements.
The Sri Lanka delegation consisted of Minister John Amaratunga, Senior Advisor to the Minister, Felix Rodrigo, Director SLTPB, Chinthaka Liyanarachchi, and Sri Lanka Consul General in Shanghai, Lakshitha Ratnayake.