Visa on arrival suspended by Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has recently suspended its visa on arrival program due to security issues following the devastating serial blasts that took place during Easter celebrations. Sri Lanka previously used to grant visa on arrival to citizens of 39 countries which included All European Union citizens, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and United States. Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said, "Although arrangements were in place to issue visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries, we have now decided to hold it for the time being in consideration of the current security situation. Investigations have revealed foreign links to the attacks and we don't want this facility to be abused". The visa on arrival program was introduced by the Srilankan Government to attract foreign tourists. Due to this, Sri Lanka had received 7,40,600 foreign tourists from January to March 2019 and around 450,000 Indians visited Sri Lanka last year. The suspension of this visa on arrival program will most likely affect the nation’s tourism industry which happens to be five per cent of the country's total GDP. Tourism revenues as high as USD 284 million and USD 362.7 million were recorded in October and November 2018 respectively.

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