Visa – on – arrival and visa – free travel in Sri Lanka are now possible for all in-bound tourists, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Chistian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga said.
He was addressing a press briefing at the recent launch of the ‘Sancharaka Udawa- The Travel Tourism Fair’ where a number of measures were announced to facilitate local tourism.
The Travel and Trade Fair organized by Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators ( SLITO) would be held June 7 and 8 at the BMICH Exhibition Center. This would be the 9th consecutive year that the fair would be held. The difference this year would be that the event would attract about 400 trade stalls with the accent on facilities available for tourist; more importantly that their visit would be memorable and enjoyable.
Expectations were that SLITO would attract some 3 million tourists this year. Considering that arrival procedures would be simplified there would not be irritating delays for tourist arrivals.
The minister further said with these facilities in place, increased tourist arrivals would result in tourism developing into the second highest forex earner for the country.
Additionally, attractive hotel rates would also support increased high end visitors to extend their stay in the Island.
Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Kishu Gomes at the head table said SLAITO would take tourism to greater heights.
‘ Sri Lanka could be transformed into a hub for international conferences. The strategic location that places the island within equi distance of leading cities of the East and West is an advantage, Gomes said.
President SL Association of Inbound Tour Operators Harith Perera confirmed promoting Sri Lanka as a tourist destination is no more an option but a necessity.
The Vote of Thanks was delivered by Nishad Wijetunga.