The first-ever Chinese New Year Festival is going to be held on the East Coast of Sri Lanka in Passikudah for a three week period commencing 14th February 2018, according to the Sri Lanka Tourist Board Press Conference in Guangzhou on November 21.
Sri Lanka’s performers present a local dance at the press conference. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
In celebration of the Chinese New Year and featuring Sri Lankan hospitality, the Festival will be composed of many activities, including:
1) sharing culture through traditional dance, music, ceremonies and martial arts;
2) exploring varieties of authentic Sri Lankan and Chinese cuisine;
3) engaging in water sports & underwater activities;
4) experiencing the Sri Lankan Ayuveda, yoga, wellness & spa;
5) activities for the whole family such as cooking, competitions & games for kids.
Mr. Udaya Nanayakkara, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Tourist Board, said that Sri Lanka is investing heavily in understanding Chinese tourists and their specific needs and requirements, and the country’s target for 2020 will be one million tourists from China.
Mr. Udaya Nanayakkara, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Tourist Board, delivers a speech at the press conference. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
According to statistics, the total number of arrivals from China to Sri Lanka has grown from 128,166 visitors in 2014 to 271,577 visitors in 2016, and one third of the total in 2016 came from Guangdong. This year to date there has been a total number of 230,481 Chinese visitors, said Mr. Udaya Nanayakkara.
The increasing number of Chinese visitors to Sri Lanka relies to a large extent on the close relations and the convenient travel between the two countries.
Ms. Zeng Yingru (L5), Chairperson of the Guangdong Tourist Administration Bureau, Mrs. Shanika Dissanayake (R6), Consul General of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou, and Mr. Udaya Nanayakkara (L6), Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Tourist Board pose for a group photo with Sri Lanka’s representatives and performers at the press conference. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is an important partner in the Belt and Road Initiative, and is working increasingly closely with China, especially Guangdong in terms of trade and personnel exchange, according to the Guangdong Tourist Administration Bureau.
At present, SriLankan Airlines operates daily non-stop flights from Guangzhou to Colombo while China Southern Airlines recently commenced thrice weekly flights from Guangzhou to Colombo as well. By next April the weekly flights will become a daily operation, Mr. Udaya Nanayakkara revealed.
(Author: Monica Liu; Editors: Simon Haywood, Olivia Yang)