Sri Lankan government notifies visa on arrival facility for 48 countries, including India

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 03, 2020, 06.43 PM(IST)

File Photo: Photograph:( Reuters )

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$20 visa fee for South Asian travellers and $35 fee applied to visitors from the remaining world which was waived-off after the Easter Sunday bomb attack.

Sri Lanka extended a free visa-on-arrival scheme for citizens of 48 countries, including India, till April 30. Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said as the country tries to gain back the tourism sector which was hit by the Easter Sunday bombings.

After the devastating bombings that killed 258 people, Sri Lanka suspended the plan to grant a visa on arrival to citizens in 39 countries. But later in July, the island nation added more countries to the list including India and China.

"We have decided to extend this facility due to requests from the stakeholders. A Cabinet paper would be submitted for this purpose," Mr Ranatunga said.

$20 visa fee for South Asian travellers and $35 fee applied to visitors from the remaining world which was waived-off after the Easter Sunday bomb attack.

Earlier the tourist arrivals received a boost in early 2019 by 10 per cent and increasing year by year. Sri Lanka (The lonely planet) was in the top tourist destination of the world. However, after the bombing attack travel industry suffered a large scale of cancellations, near about 70 per cent.

"The arrivals during 2019 were well below the 1.9 million arrivals target. The first 11 months data for 2019 had shown arrivals had been 1.67 million down by nearly 20 per cent", said tourism industry officials.

The bombing targetted three Catholic churches and three posh Colombo hotels in which they killed over 250 people, including 44 foreigners, and injured over 500, including 37 foreigners.

US, China, Britain, India, and Australia were some countries that issued travel alerts for Sri Lanka.

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