Written by Staff Writer
31 Jul, 2019 | 9:24 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – A media briefing was held in Colombo today(July 31) to confirm the cabinet decision which was taken, granting free on arrival visa to 45 countries.
Kishu Gomes, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau noted that in May our numbers went down to 37,000 tourists marking a daily average of 1260 and gradually it turned out to be good as it was increased to 67%. He noted that the numbers for July would be over 80% depicting a positive recovery.
Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that the April 21st attacks caused a detrimental effect on the tourism industry and no precautions were taken to ensure the safety of both local and foreign tourists. He added that the government is keenly working on to revive the tourism industry and ultimately kick start the Sri Lankan economy. He went on to note that on arrival visa for 45 countries is one of these measures to motivate foreign tourists to visit Sri Lanka. He went on to note that ground handling charges, as well as fuel charges, are dropped at Colombo Airport to appeal airlines to land. He added the government is prepared to make the compromise in order to ultimately reach a larger revenue.
John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs noted that the decision to grant on arrival visa was a practice which was carried out by Singapore as well in order to motivate foreign tourists into visiting the country. He added that prime minister also will take a decision to reduce aviation charges to encourage flights to land. He went on to noted that a list has been already prepared for the purpose and it could be revised anytime.
R.M.P.B Rathnayake, Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration noted that from the 1st of August travelers would not have to pay Electronic Travel Authorization(ETA) as four channels have been set up to submit applications online via WWW.ETA.GOVERNMENT.LK
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