31st January 2012, www.news360.lk
Sri Lanka Tourism is planning to attract Chinese tourists to visit the Island by using the influence of the Great Chinese Naval Admiral of the 14th Century “Zheng He”.
According to Sri Lanka Tourism, Zheng He has visited the country, six times out of his 7 voyages to around 30 countries made during Chinese Ming Dynasty, which existed in the 14th century.
Local tourism officials say, the admiral’s visits to Sri Lanka have strengthened the bilateral relationship between China – Sri Lanka during that era.
“Zheng He’ is a hero in China but sadly, his visits to Sri Lanka are not very much known in China” added a release issued by Sri Lanka Tourism.
Tourism authorities believe that if the relationship existed between the great admiral and Sri Lanka during that era is promoted in China, more Chinese will start visiting Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Tourism says this can be done specially in the Yunnan Province where ‘Zheng He’ was born and also the SLT has a MOU to promote tourism.
Zheng has visited Sri Lanka in-between the periods of 1405 to 1433.
Sri Lanka tourism will hold a special event in Colombo on Tuesday evening to commemorate the admirals’ visits to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka as of now only attracts few thousand Chinese tourists to the country per annum, which is a negligible figure compared to the total of 850,000 tourists the Island received during the year 2011.
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