Monday August 26, 2019

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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