Sri Lanka suspends visa on arrival programme after Easter Sunday tragedy

Apr 26, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has postponed the launch of its program on visa regime facilitation with 39 countries in the wake of the deadly bombings that shook the country on Sunday, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said.

“Visa on arrival pilot programme set for May 1st launch for 39 countries put on hold due to the current security situation,” Amaratunga wrote on Twitter.

Under the planned visa facilitation pilot program, which Sri Lanka announced last month, nationals of 39 countries were supposed to receive visas upon their arrival to Sri Lanka during the low tourist season.

The visas on arrival pilot programme was part of a larger initiative to increase tourist arrivals to the country during the six month off-season period from May to October.

The island nation received 740,600 foreign tourists in the first three months of 2019. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, which accounts for around five percent of the country’s GDP, is likely to suffer due to the Easter blasts.

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