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Sri Lanka to give free on arrival tourist visa to 45 countries

Jul 24, 2019 11:33 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka's cabinet has approved to grant free on-arrival visa for touristss, and have expanded the program from 39 countries to 45 in an attempt to recover faster from the Easter Sunday attack, a statement said.

The cabinet had earlier given approval to start the free on-arrival visa on May 01, but the program was halted due to security concerns after the Easter Sunday attack.

The state information office said that new countries have been added to the list in a new cabinet memorandum presented by Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga.

Amaratunga had told the media earlier in July that the program would start on August 01.

Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals have been recovering faster than the state and travel industry had initially expected.

Globally, countries have taken on average around 13 months to recover from a terror attack.

Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals, which had immediately fallen 71 percent in May from a year earlier, had recovered to a 38 percent fall in the third week of July compared to the average last year, according to Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Kishu Gomes.

Gomes is expecting arrivals to fully recover in three to four months.

The government is planning to launch a 1 billion rupee public relations and promotions campaign, and has also taken steps to reduce taxes and fees at the airport to allow reduction of air fares to Sri Lanka.

The full list of countries being given free visa on arrival is as follows:

1. Australia
 
2. Austria
 
3. Belgium
 
4. Bulgaria
 
5. Cambodia

6. Canada

7. China
 
8. Croatia
 
9. Cyprus
 
10. Czech Republic
 
11. Denmark
 
12. Estonia
 
13. Finland
 
14. France
 
15. Germany
 
16. Greece
 
17. Hungary

18. Iceland

19. India
 
20. Ireland
 
21. Italy

22. Japan
 
23. Latvia
 
24. Lithuania
 
25. Luxembourg
 
26. Malta

27. Malaysia
 
28. Netherlands

29. Norway

30. New Zealand

31. Philippines
 
32. Poland
 
33. Portugal

34. Romania

35. Russia

36. Singapore
 
37. Slovak Republic
 
38. Slovenia

39. South Korea
 
40. Spain
 
41. Sweden

42. Switzerland

43. Thailand
 
44. United Kingdom
 
45. United States of America (Colombo/Jul24/2019)


 

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