Destinations

Sri Lanka offers free tourist visas, PM says country ready to be promoted as “safe” destination

Sri Lanka has taken a big step in getting tourists back to the country, offering free one-month visas on arrival to citizens from almost 50 countries, including Australia.

According to a cabinet document seen by Travel Weekly, the Sri Lankan government began waiving the tourist visa fee for arrivals from 48 countries from 1 August, and will do so for the next six months.

Check out the list of countries below:

  1. Australia
  2. Australia
  3. Belgium
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Canada
  6. Cambodia
  7. China
  8. Croatia
  9. Cyprus
  10. Czech Republic
  11. Denmark
  12. Estonia
  13. Finland
  14. France
  15. Germany
  16. Greece
  17. Hungary
  18. India
  19. Indonesia
  20. Iceland
  21. Ireland
  22. Israel
  23. Italy
  24. Japan
  25. Latvia
  26. Lithuania
  27. Luxembourg
  28. Malaysia
  29. Malta
  30. Netherlands
  31. New Zealand
  32. Norway
  33. Philippines
  34. Poland
  35. Portugal
  36. Romania
  37. Russia
  38. Singapore
  39. South Korea
  40. Slovak Republic
  41. Slovenia
  42. Spain
  43. Sweden
  44. Switzerland
  45. Thailand
  46. Ukraine
  47. United Kingdom
  48. United States of America

Speaking at a press conference, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the free visa decision is part of a number of measures that the Sri Lankan government has introduced to boost tourism since the deadly Easter Sunday terror attacks, according to Daily FT.

“Many measures have been taken, including free visas on arrival, reduction in taxes to lower room rates, reduction in ground handling charges and fuel charges for airlines at the airport, and the grant of financial moratorium to stakeholders affected in the tourism industry,” he said.

“All these measures will make it easier for travellers, and certainly more profitable for airlines to come in.”

Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka was “on its way back to normalcy”, and that all people involved in the terror attacks were in custody, Daily FT reported.

“We would now like to promote Sri Lanka as a destination which is safe for people to visit,” he said.

The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau is also gearing up to showcase the best of what the country has to offer Australian MICE professionals with a unique new roadshow series. You can find out more about this here.

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