Free visa for tourists from selected countries

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Sri Lanka plans to issue free visa for several selected countries in a bid to attract tourists while this proposal has received Cabinet approval.

The government says that it has been observed that there is a significant drop in tourist arrivals during the period from April to October compared to other months of the year.

However, Sri Lanka is planning on attracting more Buddhist tourists as there are a host of religious and cultural events such as Vesak and Poson festivals as well as Esala Perahera during the period from May to August.

Buddhist countries such as Thailand use a similar method in order to attract Buddhist tourists, the statement said.

Considering this situation, it was proposed to issue visas free of charge for tourists from Thailand for a period of 6 months from April 01, 2019 aimed at increasing the number of arrivals within this period.

Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga had presented a proposal to also provide this facility to tourists from countries of the EU, the UK, Australia, South Korea, Canada, USA, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand.

The proposal has been granted approval by the Cabinet of Ministers.