Sri Lanka expects to boost arrivals with China’s Yingke Travels
ECONOMYNEXT – China’s Yingke Travels said it was partnering Sri Lanka’s Green Leaves Travels to carry 100,000 tourists to the island in the next 12 months, with authorities targeting 300,000 Chinese visitors in 2018.
"We are the largest off-line tourism operator in China handling over 12 million outbound travellers each year," Yingke’s Vice General Manager for Shanghai region, Hai Feng Yuan said in Colombo.
"So we are very confident that we will be able to bring 100,000 Chinese visitors to this beautiful country within a year.
YingkeTravels operates 12,000 offices across China and over 20 overseas. The tour operators said it had flown in around 50,000 Chinese operators over the last five years, but was now positioned to ratchet up the numbers.
In the 12-months to May 2019 the agency plans to carry 100,000 tourists to Sri Lanka.
"We see an opportunity to grow the destination with our Sri Lankan partners Green Leaves Travels," Hai said.
The company’s handles high-end to budget travellers. The average price of its packages is 1,000-1,200 US dollars for a 5-night, 6-day tour, Yuan said.
Chinese visitors to Sri Lanka fell 1 percent 268,958 ending several years of meteoric growth, but Sri Lanka is targeting 300,000 visitors this year.
The Chinese currency which weakened up to mid last year is now strengthening.
In the three months to March Chinese tourist arrivals grew 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 81,849.
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said there was potential for other Chinese tour operators to partner Sri Lankan companies to grow the tourism business.
"China has advised its citizens not to travel to The Maldives, that’s nearly 1.5 million high-spending Chinese tourists we could attract to Sri Lanka instead," he said.
Chinese tourists account for 12.7 percent of a total 2.1 mn arrivals from all countries.
Sri Lanka is expecting 2.5 million tourists in 2018. (COLOMBO, 01 May, 2018).