Sri Lanka is set to launch a pilot project as part of its efforts to reinvigorate its tourism industry. The project involves offering free tourist visas to visitors from seven specific countries. This initiative is designed to attract tourists and rejuvenate the nation’s tourism sector, which has been adversely affected by events like the Easter Sunday attack, the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent economic challenges.
In the wake of the global travel industry’s efforts to rebound from the pandemic’s impact, many Asian countries are striving to regain their share of the tourism market. Offering free tourist visas has become a common strategy, and Sri Lanka is joining this trend by introducing new tourism promotion programs.
Sri Lanka has set an ambitious goal to increase the annual number of tourists to five million within the next three years, and providing free tourist visas to select countries is a strategic step in that direction. These countries include China, India, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It’s important to note that Pakistan is not included in the list of countries eligible for free tourist visas.
In addition to free tourist visas, Sri Lanka plans to facilitate access to its world heritage sites and historical places. One of the proposed measures is the creation of a single payment package ticket, allowing tourists to gain entry to multiple relevant sites. These tickets can be conveniently purchased at the airport or through an online system. Furthermore, the government intends to streamline the process of acquiring tickets for Sri Lanka Railways’ tourist coaches, making them available online or for purchase at the airport.
The decision to offer free tourist visas to select countries is part of a broader effort to stimulate Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, boost economic recovery, and provide travelers with a seamless and enriched experience when exploring the island nation.
The upcoming pilot project represents a significant step toward revitalizing Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. It is hoped that this initiative will attract travelers from various countries, ultimately contributing to the nation’s economic growth and development.
Sri Lanka’s move aligns with the global trend of adapting to new tourism practices in a post-pandemic world and demonstrates the nation’s commitment to welcoming international visitors and enhancing their travel experiences.