Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka is on a steady rise, with Sri Lanka having received 16,582 tourists from China during the first six months of this year, compared to 9,622 visitors received during the same period last year.

This is a 72.3 percent year-on-year growth, and the jump is encouraging, as the Sri Lankan government has been working hard to capture a slice of the growing number of Chinese nationals travelling overseas.

In 2012, the number of Chinese tourists globally stood at 83 million, the Sri Lankan Tourism Authority said.

Sri Lanka’s tourism board is planning to attract another 60,000 Chinese tourists to the country this year, and is also expanding their focus for the coming years.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka Tourism is vigorously promoting the country to the main Chinese markets, particularly with a series of promotional campaigns which will be held throughout the year.

The promotional campaigns include a bus-branding campaign in China which will be held in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. A three-day “mega-joined” promotional campaign is also in the pipelines.

Sri Lanka recorded a 13.1 percent year-on-year growth in tourist arrivals between January and June 2013, totalling in 512,281 tourists.

The country’s largest tourist markets also include those from India, France, UK, Germany, Maldives and Australia.

(c)2013 the Asia News Network (Hamburg, Germany). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Photo Credit: Kirinda, known as the town of wildlife, is a small port located on the south coast of Sri Lanka and a popular destination for tourists. James Gordon / Flickr