Sri Lanka to offer free visas to tourists from 30 countries, including US
Posted on April 16th, 2019

USA TODAY

Sri Lanka aims to boost its tourism efforts by giving away free visas to travelers from more than 30 countries. 

The small island nation off southern India will offer the promotion starting May 1 to travelers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, according to Lonely Planet and The Independent. 

The average U.S. tourist stands to save between $20 and $40 in visa fees, Lonely Planet says. 

The free-visa period initially will run for six months to help bolster tourism during the off-peak season – the Yala monsoon runs from May to August – but if successful, Sri Lanka may extend the free visas to tourists from other countries or make the arrangement permanent. 

Sri Lanka saw 2.1 million tourists in 2017, according to the nation’s Tourism Development Authority. Tourism numbers have been on the upswing since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009.  

3 Responses to “Sri Lanka to offer free visas to tourists from 30 countries, including US”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    All good except for Thailand.

    Buddhist tourism is not a money spinner from Thailand. Instead undesirable elements will flood Sri Lanka. Although it may boost tourism (as some tourists seek those pleasures) it may not turn out well in the end.

    No such facilities must be extended to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other LDCs.

  2. aloy Says:

    For the attention of tourism minister, I append below a part of a write up by a tourist to SL:

    “This shadow is a striking yet fleeting sight, and several minutes passed until the sun-seekers arrived around me to see the fast-fading spectacle.
    If the view was incredible, so was the smell; nine metres below me was a stinking rubbish tip, the detritus of thousands of pilgrims, as well as a visibly ageing complex of grubby toilets and washrooms. I obviously wasn’t the first to stand here, but to see that steep, peaked shadow reminded me what I had just achieved after climbing for five hours through the night, having started at 2am.
    As the triangle faded, a troupe of young monks appeared from the pagoda to bang drums as they moved around the small complex.”

  3. Nimal Says:

    If countries make it difficult for Sri Lankans to visas then we must make difficult for them, if we have any self respect.

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