COLOMBO, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday that tourist arrivals from China was likely to see a significant growth following steps taken to promote Sri Lanka as a holiday destination in Chinese provinces.
The ministry said in a statement that Tourism Minister John Amaratunga held discussions with the provincial tourism authorities in China, who had assured him that every effort will be made to increase visitor arrivals to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka participated in the Ningbo International Tourism Expo in Zhejiang this week, which had a 300,000-visitor participation and is one of the leading travel events in China.
This was the first time that a tourism delegation from Sri Lanka visited the expo in a province that generates over 60,000 arrivals to Sri Lanka each year, the Tourism Ministry said.
The Sri Lankan delegation also met officials from China International Travel Service (CITS) where matters relating to tourism development were discussed.
Officials from both sides also noted that the strong air connectivity between Ningbo in east China's Zhejiang Province and Colombo was an added boon in promoting tourism in the region.
Sri Lanka has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists. Over 163,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka from January to July, while the government said it hopes to attract at least 1 million Chinese tourists per year by 2020.