China not happy with restrictions imposed by Sri Lanka

China is not happy with some restrictions imposed by Sri Lanka, saying it will affect Chinese tourists arriving in the country.

The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan said that the number of Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka has reached nearly 300,000 annually and ranks the top among foreign tourists to Sri Lanka.

However, he says this number is only a peanut while comparing with the number of Chinese tourists attracted by Thailand, which is also a neighbour of China. In 2018, Chinese tourists to Thailand have exceeded 10 million.

“The reasons mainly include following aspects. Firstly is language barrier. Many Chinese tourists are not accustomed to English language, much less the Sinhalese or Tamil language. Chinese-speaking tour guides’ accompany and interpretation is a must for them. But there are very few Chinese-speaking local guides here, and Chinese guides are prohibited from entering Sri Lanka and accompanying with tourists. Besides, Chinese people always have “Chinese stomach” when travelling. They show strong preference to Chinese food. However, it is difficult for a Chinese chef to obtain a working visa to work in or set up a Chinese restaurant. Therefore, the number of Chinese restaurants in Sri Lanka is limited and sometimes cannot meet needs of Chinese tourists,” the Ambassador said.

In addition, he said that a large percentage of Chinese tourists are accustomed to Chinese tobacco and alcohol, which is a reality that the tourism industries in Sri Lanka has to consider seriously, although it is not healthy at all and should not be encouraged.

“The tourists cannot buy Chinese tobacco and alcohol during their stay, and even not allowed to bring a few Chinese cigarettes with them for their personal own use when entering this island. These restrictions make Chinese tourists unaccustomed, which don’t exist or at least have some level of exemption or tolerance in many other countries,” he said.

The Ambassador said that conveniences, experiences and happiness are precisely what Chinese tourists most care about, and is one of the key factors in their decision-making of travel destinations.

“At present, the Sino-Sri Lanka relations has stepped into a fast development period. The implementation of Belt and Road Initiative between the two countries is in full swing, the exchanges in various fields are increasingly frequent, and the prospect for Sino-Sri Lanka tourism cooperation is also promising,” he said.

The Ambassador said that he is fully confident that if Sri Lanka could continuously improve the tourism environment, focus on improving the comfort of foreign tourists as much as Thailand, adjust relevant regulations in accordance with Sri Lankan laws, ease the existing obstacles for foreign tourists effectively, more and more Chinese tourists will be attracted to Sri Lanka, which will stimulate tourism, consumption and stronger vitality to local economy growth.


  1. chinease are good customer for jewellery shop but chinease those who livng in sri lanka they are cutting our business and their selling gems to them without license
    if we do in china what they are doing colombo we will be jail

  2. What next? Chinese hotels for them to stay in, chinese beds for them to sleep in? No other country makes such ridiculous demands. Here is a suggestion. How about Sri Lankan government and tourist board set aside a fund and train locals to do these jobs instead of outsourcing these income generating jobs to the chinese. Our local lads will benefit then.

    • We have world class chefs, we should train Sri Lankans to become good Chinese cooks. We should even send some to China and get trained. Also Chinese language c.asses are important if we are going to receive Chinese tourists let the tourist industry work on this issue with a positive attitude and SriLanka interest first.

  3. In Melbourne every Taxi rank is full of South Asian Taxi drivers as crows surround a food parcel. Australians don’t have to call a taxi, because South Asians are at the fingertips. This is the beauty of breeding as rabbits in the name of democracy.

  4. If we want tourists to come, give what they want, not what we’re want. Though we’re boast too much about tourism to be the main foreign exchange earner, in fact, Sri Lankans who want to protect their identity, culture, religion never want to be flexible about these issues. But add a fact we’re need foreign money, what will the nationalists say about that?

    • If you’re ready to do anything to get foriegn money, then you’re no different to a prostitute. And if they want everywhere they travel to feel like at home then what’s the purpose of visiting a foriegn country? That’s hilarious.

  5. If Chinese tourists want everything Chinese they shouldn’t be touring in the first place. we don’t need them here.

  6. You want everything Chinese? Stay in China. Sri lanka would do better to conentrate on getting tourists from Europe.

    • Hans peeler,

      You are correct my friend.

      These Chinese are mushrooms.

      If Chinese want to smoke, buy Sri Lankan cigarettes.

      Tourists come from Europe and America like to buy Sri Lankan products.

      Oh stay in China.

      Not only Sri Lanka, most countries do not like Chinese.

  7. Chinese tourists should adapt to Sri lanka. Sri Lanka must not adapt to Chinese tourists. I like my Dutch food, can not get it here. I like my strong tabacco, can not get it here. So what, I eat Sri lankan food, smoke Sri Lankan cigarettes. No problem

  8. We need the Chinese tourists
    They are good spenders and every country wants them
    We must make it easy for them like the Ambassador said

  9. Next they will need Chinese xxx. Sri Lanka should stay as Sri Lanka, if anyone wants to come, they must come to Enjoy Sri Lanka for what it is

  10. Chineese ambasador seems trying to give all local opportunities to Chinese. A tourist who smoke can bring the cigarette he need for his tour not a tonne.

  11. Canabis (ගංජා) හාවිතය සමහර යුරෝපීය රටවල නීති ගතකර ඇති අතර එවැනි රටක පුරවැසියෙකුට ගංජා රැගෙන චීනයට ගමන්කල හැකිද? තව ද “බයි ජියො 白酒” යම් ප්‍රමාණයක් ලංකාවට රැගෙනවිත් පුද්ගලිකව පරිහරණය කිසිදු භාදාවක් මේ රටේ නැත. වියාපාරයක් ඇරබීම සම්භන්ධව සහ අනිකුත් කරුනු සම්භන්ධව කීමට කරුනු ද එමටම ඇත. චීනය අප මිතුරන් ලෙසද අප චීනයේ මිතුරන් අපි සලකන අතර එවන් රටක් නියෝජනය කරන එතුමා මෙරට තානාපති දූරය දැරුව ද අප රට ගැන ඉතාමත් අඩු අවභෝධයක් ඇත්තෙකු ලෙස අපිට හැගේ. අප රටේ සෑම ක්ෂේත්‍රයකම අඩුපාඩුකම් එමට ඇත. ඒවා කාලය අනුව සෙමෙන් වෙනස්වේ යැයි අපි පතන්නෙමු. නමුත් අපි කැමති අපේ රටේ දෑ අගයකර අප රට බලන්න එන සංචාරකයන්ට මිස අපව වෙන රටක ජාතියක් බවට පත් කරන්නට එන සංචාරකයන්ට නොවේ!දිගු කතන්දර ලිවීමෙන් මගේ කාලය අපතේ යන බැවින් වැඩිය නොලියමි.[Trick][Trick]

  12. If any tourists are visiting another country they should respect that country law,customs culture and food. If they don’t like please don’t come.
    This is not most of Chinese tourists expecting. This is what filthy Chinese third class business mafia living in Sri lanka want. Most of Chinese businessmen living in Sri lanka doing illegal business and they need bring third level Chinese citizens to Sri lanka for working. And doing their dirty job

  13. Read between the lines, it is the implementation of the 2nd phase of Chinese Belt and Road… Under the pretext of “fulfilling Tourist Requirements” they want to spread all chinese “goods and services” throughout the country. In China, Local Beer and Cigarettes are so cheap, even in the remotest parts of China, people are seen drinking heavily and smoking is at epidemic level. It wont take long for Sri Lankan population to be addicted to both of them, at those prices…
    We have the same problem here in NZ too, though there are numbers, there is not enough revenue generation on par with the numbers of Chinese tourists, as they have Tourist Shops owned by Chinese, activities owned by chinese, busses, drivers and guides who are chinese, so basically most of the money that is spent by the chinese tourists are paid in to their own chinese businesses, which goes back to china…
    Anyway, the Minister needs to be aware that numbers are now only going to hurt the industry, as many of the places of visits are congested like supermarket queues, and we can’t have any more…. We should look at restricting the numbers for higher yielding tourists, to make it sustainable.


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