Colombo, Aug 14 (IANS) The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will ink an agreement with Alibaba’s travel arm Fliggy to bring 1,000 travellers weekly to the country in order to expand its growing tourism sector, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said on Tuesday.
Amaratunga said after obtaining the necessary approval, his ministry will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Alibaba next week, Xinhua news agency reported.
Supreme Global Holdings Limited, the local company that has tied up with Alibaba, will work closely with SLTPB on the project implementation, which is expected to result in a positive large-scale impact on Sri Lanka’s tourism.
Further, Supreme Global also intends to promote Alipay actively in Sri Lanka upon receiving the necessary clearances thus taking Sri Lanka Tourism to new heights, especially among Chinese tourists, Amaratunga said.
The minister expressed confidence that Sri Lanka would comfortably achieve the 2.5 million target set for this year, while noting that the country could achieve 3.5 million arrivals in 2019 provided the global tourism outlook remains favourable.
Over 1.3 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in the first seven months of 2018, recording a 13.7 per cent growth compared with the same period of last year.