Visa Fees Exemption Current Affairs - 2019
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Sri Lankan Government has exempted Indian tourists from Visa Fees for tourism purposes. This decision comes into effect from 1 August 2019. With this move India is now among 48 countries whose citizens have been exempted from visa fees by Sri Lankan government.
Visa fees, which ranged from $20 to $40, will not be charged for grant of 1 month visa for tourism.
Tourists can apply for electronic travel authorisations online or even apply for visa on arrival.
Measure will be implemented for 6 months initially and a decision will be taken later for extension depending upon its impact on revenue.
As per Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe revenues from enhanced tourism arrivals is expected to offset loss of the island nation.
Why Visa Exemtion?
Sri Lankan government asserted that security situation has retuned back to normal after Easter Sunday attacks as all criminal suspects have been taken into arrest. Due to the attacks Sri Lankan tourism has been impacted but tourism authorities claimed that there is a revival seen since July 2019.
Also Indian tourist constitute maximum number of tourist to Sri Lanka with around one fourth (25%) of total tourist arrivals.
Tourism is Sri Lanka’s 3rd largest and fastest growing source of foreign currency in 2018 which account for almost 5% percent of gross domestic product (GDP in 2018).