“The Russians and citizens of another 47 countries are able to visit Sri Lanka with free visas from August 1 to February 1, 2020”, reported The Star newspaper.
"The authorities of Sri Lanka from August 1 canceled visa fees for citizens of 48 countries, including Russia, Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and others. Thus, they want to attract tourists after the terrorist attacks, when the tourist flow has dropped to a record 70,8%," the publication writes.
Free visas are issued at the airport upon arrival. Earlier, the Russians were required to pay $ 35-40 for issuing visas to Sri Lanka.
According to The Star, the experiment with free visas will last six months, then the results will be evaluated.
Last year, tourism revenue in Sri Lanka amounted to almost $ 4.4 billion, which is 4.9% of GDP. In the first half of 2019, tourist flow to the country decreased by 13.4%.
On April 21, a series of explosions occurred in Sri Lanka. The objects of the attack were expensive hotels in the capital of Colombo and its regions, as well as churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. As a result of the attacks, 250 people were killed, including 40 foreigners. The terrorist group Islamic State (it is banned in the Russian Federation) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.