Home / Front Page/ Sri Lanka to issue on-arrival visas from 1 May

Sri Lanka to issue on-arrival visas from 1 May


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 15 March 2019 00:15


 

 

  • Minister mulls to include SAARC countries, China as they include top source markets
  • Plans underway to set up permanent system to issue visa on-arrival at BIA   

     

By Charumini de Silva

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga yesterday said work is underway to implement on-arrival visa, free-of-charge for multiple countries from 1 May, to boost tourist arrivals during lean months. 

“We will start granting a six-month free visa period from 1 May for selected countries during our lean period to boost tourist arrivals,” the Minister told the Daily FT.

The Cabinet of Ministers in February approved the proposal presented by Minister Amaratunga to grant a six-month free visa period from 1 April for selected countries. 

According to that, visa-free entry to Sri Lanka will be granted to tourists from Thailand, the UK, Australia, South Korea, Canada, the US, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and countries of the EU.

In addition to those countries, the Minister hopes to extend the facility to all SAARC countries as well as to China, which includes top source markets for Sri Lanka.

Noting that it would be initially implemented for a trial period of six months and depending on the success rate, they will further extend the facility with more added features to make Sri Lanka an attractive destination for tourists. 

“As the next step of this program, we are planning on setting up a permanent system at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to issue visa on-arrival, like in many other countries. We believe this would be a major breakthrough in attracting more visitors from this year,” he added.

He said that the technicalities and systems were already being discussed and implemented by the Immigration and Emigration Department. 

Considering major MICE tourism events, policy decisions to ease entry to the country and Sri Lanka being ranked top destination to travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet, the Minister expressed confidence in attracting over three million tourist arrivals by the end of this year. 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Victory over the oppressed

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

The Presidential Election is over and the new President has taken his oaths. Although there were opinions expressed that there can be a second count of preference votes of the candidates other than the first and second, it was an easy victory for Got


The mantra of attracting high-end tourists

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

“Easier said than done!” is what many veterans of the tourism industry say whenever the subject of enticing high spenders to Sri Lanka is debated. That being so, some boutique brands have fetched high prices in the past though the current situati


Adopt high-impact interventions to secure future of antibiotics and rollback the global AMR crisis

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global crisis that threatens the future of our most precious drugs: antibiotics. Across the world, AMR kills an estimated 700,000 people annually, including 230,000 from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. By 2050,


A child’s guide to MCC Compact Sri Lanka

Monday, 18 November 2019

Intelligent children, unlike some of the adults, are curious, probing and questioning. They do not jump to conclusions until and unless they are convinced of facts that have been presented to them. Asani, a student in the Advanced Level class in a le


Columnists More