'Unprecedented growth in tourism'
The tourism industry in Sri Lanka has reached a stage of
unprecedented growth during the last two consecutive years following the
end of internal conflicts in Sri Lanka.
Godahewa addressing the event
"We have observed a 46% growth in 2010 and 31 % growth in 2011," said
Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa delivering the 'Zheng
He' oration in Colombo last Tuesday.
"2012 also got off to a fantastic start with tourist arrivals
exceeding 100,000 monthly in January itself," he said.
He said that China is fast becoming the world leader in tourism where
in 2011, the Chinese out bound tourism exceeded 65 million which was
about a 14% growth compared to the previous year. "Already China has
become the main market for many popular tourism destinations in the
world and world tourism organization and UNWTO has recommended the
emerging tourism destinations across the globe to look at China as a key
The religious, cultural and historical relations between Sri Lanka
and China date back to centuries. This relationship which was
established during the period of ancient Silk Road period has
strengthened by several folds at present. In 2007, the relationship
between the two countries reached 50 years.
At present China is Sri Lanka's leading trading partner. Similarly,
Chinese assistance is being provided to many major development projects
in Sri Lanka.
The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall was given to
Sri Lanka as token of friendship, The Hambantota Harbour, Norochcholei
Coal Power Plant, Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and the Performance Arts
Theatre in Colombo are some of the projects China has established in Sri