The first two days of the fair was opened to the trade and public respectively. In parallel to the travel fair, SLTPB also organized two Tourism Promotion Roadshows in Guangzhou and Shenzhen on the 21st and 27th of February to enhance the awareness about Sri Lanka in the East Asian region and create an effective communication between the two countries related to the travel and tourism trade. 18 Sri Lankan companies from the travel and tourism industry participated at this event. The GTIF was a unique opportunity for the global travel trade to meet and strengthen their business relationships and bilateral ties. The colorful array of natural attractions displayed by Sri Lanka Tourism captured the attention of many visitors, enabling them to consider about having an experience which was worthwhile.
The Roadshow which was held on the 21st in Guangzhou was held under a distinguished audience including Ms. Tan Aiying, Deputy Director General of Guanzghou Municipal Tourism Administration. It proved to be a very effective attempt since it created an opportunity to collaborate with the Chinese counterparts representing the travel and trade industry. The roadshow in Shenzhen, which was held on the 27th was held under the patronage of Mr. Qian Qiang , Deputy Director General of the Culture Sports and Tourism Administration of Shenzhen Municipality , and City mayor of Guangzhou Municipality. Ms. Shanika Dissanayake , Consul general of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou extended her support to Sri Lanka Tourism , in order to make their participation a success. Sri Lanka Tourism was represented by Mr. Chinthaka Liyanaarachchi, Assistant Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.
Sri Lanka was able to reap its benefits from this campaign by bagging the awards for the most popular destination and the Best Service Airline by Southern China, which was received by Sri Lankan Airlines. The award was received by Mr. Dileepa Wijesuriya , Area Manager, Sri Lankan Airlines for Southern China. There is a positive market for Sri Lanka in Southern China. The award for the ‘’most popular destination’’ was received by Mr. Chinthaka Liyanaarachchi, representing Sri Lanka Tourism.
Guangzhou is a city which has direct air connectivity by Sri Lankan Airlines and also has connections with many other international airlines, helping to promote Sri Lankan Tourism in China.
Up to December 2016, tourist arrivals from China were recorded as 271,577, whereas it marked a 26.4% increase in compared to the same period in the previous year. Chinese tourist arrivals are increasing year on year, thus contributes a great deal to Sri Lanka’s rising tourist sector.