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“Sri Lanka Shines in Shanghai” B2B Travel & Trade Forum Creates a Huge Opportunity for Sri Lanka

Under the joint mega promotional campaign “Sri Lanka Shines in Shanghai” from July 01st to 6th July 2014 in Shanghai –China , Sri Lanka Tourism implemented a tourism and trade promotional business forum specifically schemed to attract Chinese travel and trade partners was held on 4th July 2014 in Shangri-La Hotel, Pudong. The event was graced by the presence of Hon. Basil Rajapaksa , Minister of Economic Development who was the chief guest at the event along with Madam. Shang Yu Ying, Chairperson Municipal Commission for Commerce of Shanghai, China.

Other distinguish guests who have participated for the inaugural ceremony of B2B Travel & Trade Business Forum included Hon. Shan Wijeyalal, Chief Minister, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, Hon. Dao Shu Ming, Chairman, China Friendship Association with Foreign Countries , H E Mr Ranjith Uyangoda , the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China , Mrs. Hasanthy Dissanayake. Consul General of Sri Lanka in Shanghai, Mr. Yang Jing Song, Chairman of Tourism Administration , Mr. Nasser Ahamed, Provincial Minister (Tourism), Eastern Province, Sri Lanka, Mr. Shen Shan Zhou, Deputy Director of Shanghai Tourism Administration and Mr. Chen Ping, Deputy Director of International Dept, Municipal Commission of Commerce, Shanghai, Mr. Anura Siriwardhane, Secretary, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Sri Lanka, Mr. Bhashwara Gunarathna, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism, Dr. D S Jayaweera, Director General, Sri Lanka Tourism, Mr.Nishantha Wickramasinghe, Chairman, Sri Lankan Airlines, Mr Rumy Jauffer , Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism promotion Bureau, Mr. Mervin Fernandopulle, Board Member, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

The event commenced with a traditional Oil lamping ceremony and a vibrant Sri Lankan welcome dance. The welcome speech of the event was delivered by H. E. Mr. Ranjith Uyangoda, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China. In his speech he has highlighted the long standing China –Sri Lanka bilateral ties and the strong diplomatic relations between the two countries. He also added that Sri Lanka is recognised as one of the leading emerging economies in Asia and is glad to strengthen its business ties with the world’s second largest economy, China. He invited all travel and trade participants to utilize the business and travel forum to link up with Sri Lankan representatives and generate more opportunities for both countries.

Madam Shang Yu Ying, Chairperson of Shanghai Municipal Commission for Commerce, speaking at the business forum added that they are glad to establish travel and trade relationship between China and Sri Lanka and avenues to grow investment relationships with Sri Lankan travel and trade partners. She added that the B2B travel and trade forum will definitely create a strong platform for strengthening travel and trade relationships of the two countries. She also assured fullest cooperation from the Shanghai Municipal Commission for Commerce, to develop the Sri Lanka –China travel trade relationships.

The keynote speech of the event was delivered by Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development of Sri Lanka. In his speech he emphasised that the Sri Lanka –China relationship dates back to time immemorial, especially the visits of Faxian Buddhist Monk and Admiral Zheng He to Sri Lanka are the landmarks of developing the relationship between the two countries according to historical records. He added that Sri Lanka is full of hospitable and friendly people who are the main attraction of the country. During the first seven months of year 2014 Sri Lanka tourism has attracted more than the total number of Chinese travellers attracted during the whole last year, which is definitely an encouraging sign for the industry. From the tourism and trade perspective we see China as a huge potential market with particular interest in Shanghai as the commercial and financial capital. The Hon. Minister invited all travel agents to promote Sri Lanka among Chinese people and trade partners to seek for investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

More than 170 tour operators and 161 trade representatives of China participated for the B2B Travel & Trade Business Forum held on 4th July at in Pudong, Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai. They had productive discussions with their leading Sri Lankan counterparts. Thus, the event has created a platform to strengthen the existing businesses and to create new business opportunities for both counties. over 80 enterprise representatives from Sri Lanka one-on-one communicated with Chinese enterprise representatives. They had in-depth exchange of views with each other on black tea, gems, textiles, batik clothes and handicrafts to seek cooperation opportunities.

During the event, audience had a chance to experience traditional dances and drumming performance of Sri Lanka artists and get to know world-renowned special products and services, including gems stones originated from Sri Lanka and Ceylon tea, etc. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in collaboration with Sri Lanka Inbound Tour operators Association introduced special holiday packages for Chinese travellers, who would like to arrive in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Airlines, the Island’s national carrier offered special air rates for this special tour packages. The lucky winners were selected by a raffle draw during the event proceedings to offer promotional tour packages to Sri Lanka.

Expressing their views to the media many tour operators who participated for the event said that they are thankful to the Ministry of Economic Development and Sri Lanka Tourism for organising an event of this magnitude for the travel and trade industry of Sri Lanka. During the sessions with Chinese tour operators and trade partners they were able to further develop the opportunities they can exploit in the Chinese market. The Chinese tour operators and trade partners mentioned that they are very pleased as this event has given them the opportunities to create new business opportunities with prospective Sri Lankan counterparts. Many Sri Lankan businessmen said, “We have seen the huge opportunities in Chinese consumer market. In the future, we will provide more featured products and services to Chinese consumers.”

“Sri Lanka Shines in Shanghai” Joint Mega Promotion campaign is an event organised in collaboration of the Public and Private sectors of the Sri Lanka. The event is organized under the guidance of Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, the Minister of Economic Development and the Minister for Tourism. The Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Mr. Bashwara Gunarthna played a key role for implementation of the event under the Sri Lanka Tourism strategic country promotional initiative.


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