In a major development, Sri Lanka has approved issuing free visas to India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand with immediate effect as a pilot project till 31 March. As per the Sri Lankan media reports, the latest decision has been taken in order to give a boost to the tourism industry. ” We are expecting to increase tourist arrivals to five million over the coming years,” the ministry said as quoted by the Sri Lankan media.
Notably, Sri Lanka, an island nation, is majorly dependent on the tourism sector. The industry is considered a significant contributor to the country’s GDP. However, it has been ruined by back-to-back tragedies that occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then bad implementation of agricultural reforms. In fact, this led the country to plunge into crisis.
Last week, the Ministry of Tourism announced that a Cabinet Paper had been presented during the previous Cabinet meeting, proposing the issue of free tourist visas to foreigners from five countries who intend to visit Sri Lanka as tourists, Daily Mirror Online reported.
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