Colombo: Sri Lanka has allowed free visa-on-arrival till April 30 for the residents of 48 countries, including India.
Tourism Minister of Sri Lanka, Prasanna Ranatunga, told the press that the nation is trying to rebuild the tourism industry which was affected by the Easter Sunday bombings that killed about 258 people. As a security measures, the Sri Lankan government has decided to stop offering visa-on-arrival to citizens of 39 countries. The step was taken in order to revive the tourism of the country which was severely hit by the Easter Sunday bombings.
Prasanna Ranatunga told PTI, “We have decided to extend this facility due to requests from the stakeholders. A Cabinet paper would be submitted for this purpose.”
After the Easter Sunday bombings took place, the country levied a fee of $20 for South Asian travellers and $35 for travellers from other parts of the world.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry contributes around 5 per cent to its GDP, but the bombings affected the tourism of the country severely.
The bombings, which targeted three Catholic churches and three hotels in Colombo, killed around 250 people, which included 44 foreigners, and injured over 500, including 37 foreigners.