Sri Lanka's third biggest source of revenue is tourism. But arrivals have dropped significantly since the April bombings.
The Government of Sri Lanka has announced free visas to draw more tourists to the country. A visa to visit Sri Lanka usually costs Rs 1,400 to Rs 2,500. The country's tourism industry has announced that it is now offering free visas to citizens of 48 countries for 6 months.
On April 21, Easter Sunday, Islamic militants made bomb attacks on Sri Lanka's major hotels and 3 churches. About 250 people were killed. This included some foreign tourists.
The influx of tourists to Sri Lanka decreased following the bombings. A number of countries issued statements warning of the dangers, impacting on Sri Lanka's tourism.
For Sri Lanka, tourism is the third highest earner. Tourism accounted for 4.9 percent of the country's GDP last year.
Tourist arrivals in May were just 70.8 percent of the previous month, after the blast. This is the first time in the last 10 years that Sri Lanka has seen so few tourists. Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have declined by 13.4 percent in the last six months.
Nationals from 48 countries, including China, India, US, Thailand, Russia, Australia, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Switzerland, Cambodia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, are eligible for the free visas.
[Autotranslated from Tamil]
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