Sri Lanka eyes more Chinese tourists for more forex
September 8, 2015 10:49 pm
Sri Lanka is eyeing more Chinese tourists to the island nation as the new government is aiming to make tourism as the top foreign exchange earner, a cabinet minister said.
The country’s new Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga, who took oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena and who officially began his duties, told journalists that the government wanted to increase the number of Chinese tourists.
“Many Chinese tourists come to Sri Lanka. But we want to increase the tourists number. We have to provide the opportunity for Chinese who are willing to visit Sri Lanka,” Amaratunga said, adding “We welcome the Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka. They have enough fund spend in Sri Lanka.”
China has become the largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka and has helped improve the island nation’s tourism industry which was once heavily scarred by a 30-year civil war.
According to statistics by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, in August, more than 24,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile Amaratunga said that Sri Lanka would also target tourists from other nations such as the European Union, India and the United States as relationships with those countries had also improved since the new government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena came to power.
Amaratunga said that they hoped to improve the tourism industry and make it the country’s top foreign exchange earner.
Currently Sri Lanka’s most foreign exchange comes from thousands of Sri Lankans employed overseas especially as laborers in Middle East countries. (Xinhua)