“If we can build the new markets in china like Sichuan province which has 90 million people including two million who travel overseas to come to Sri Lanka will be ideal,”
Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman of Sri Lanka tourism promotion bureau said.
“We will firm up the marketing plan for China and continuously work together to make an impact to the market place.”
He was addressing a gathering of the Deputy Mission in Charge of the Sri Lankan embassy of the People Republic of China with the top 65 photographers from Shanghai photographic association capturing the beauty of Sri Lanka under the theme “Sri Lanka - beauty in my eyes".
As at end February the tourist arrivals from China registers a growth of 85.7 percent over last year and is poised to be the second highest market in the Sri Lankan portfolio.
Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 16.7 percent to 165,541 in February 2015 from a year earlier with a surge in tourist arrivals from China, data from the state tourism promotion office showed.
Arrivals from China rose 165.8 percent to 27,425 from 10,319 a year earlier data shows. The Chinese arrivals to the island have risen rapidly over the last two years with 2014 ending at an all-time high.
In 2013, 54,288 Chinese tourists visited Sri Lanka but the numbers doubled to 128,166 by the end of 2014, growing at an impressive 136.1 percent, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).
Tourists from India and Britain have outstripped arrivals from China in 2014 but experts predict China will overtake them by the end 2015.
The newly launched marketing plan is a combination of above the line and below the line advertising, travel trade meets ups, focussed one to one meetings with the travel trade and media visits by Chinese journalists to current and new tourism products in Sri Lanka. Separately, join promotions with Air China and screen based marketing will also be implemented, of Sri Lanka tourism promotion bureau said.