More and more travellers are going to Sri Lanka. Earlier this year, the tourist sector of Sri Lanka was flat on its stomach, due to the attacks on Easter Day. The number of tourist travellers headed to Sri Lanka is slowly rising again.
The primary reason for this is that many countries have changed their travel advice for Sri Lanka. Shortly after the attacks, virtually all countries highly discouraged travelling to Sri Lanka unless it was absolutely necessary. Following safety measures taken by the Sri Lanka government, this advice was softened. To travel to Sri Lanka, you need a Sri Lanka e-visa. Since 1 August 2019, it is possible to get a visa on arrival free of charge on arrival at the airport
Attacks Easter Day Sri Lanka
Following the terrorist attacks on Easter Day, 21 April 2019, many countries decided to change their travel advice, strongly discouraging their citizens from travelling to Sri Lanka, ‘unless absolutely necessary’. This led to a steep drop in the number of tourists headed to Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan embassies lobbied strongly to have this travel advice amended. However, Sri Lanka needed to show that it took appropriate security measures. Only after it became clear that all attackers had been killed were many of the travel advices reverted.
Tourism important source of income
Tourism is an important source of income for Sri Lanka. Travellers from all over the world visit the country each year. Despite the dramatic dip following Easter, Sri Lanka managed to hold to its strong tourism numbers. In fact, there were even more tourists coming to the country than in 2015. However, compared to last year, about 20% less tourists travelled to Sri Lanka.
While the Easter attacks had severe negative effects for Sri Lanka, the government of Sri Lanka remains carefully optimistic. They see the drops as temporary in response to the attacks, and expect the numbers to rise in the next year. Already, the drops in tourist visitors are becoming less and less. International interest in Sri Lanka remains big. It is expected that more tourists will visit the country in the coming winter months.
Travel advice Sri Lanka
The travel advice for Sri Lanka has improved. Following the Easter Day terrorist attacks, safety has improved and normal life has slowly started picking up again. There are some safety risks in the country, but the situation has notably improved. Schools and universities have opened again, and roadblocks have been removed.
A state of emergency was declared on 23 April 2019, giving the government more privileges. While the state of emergency was lifted, the government does till perform more safety checks. The risk of terrorist attacks is still real. It is advised to avoid large gatherings, such as protests or political rallies.
Sri Lanka visa application
Travelling to Sri Lanka has become relatively safe again. To travel to Sri Lanka, a Sri Lanka visa is required. This is mandatory for all travellers headed to the country, including minors. This means that children need to possess their own passport and visa. Since 1 August 2019, it is also possible to acquire a visa on arrival in Sri Lanka free of charge. However, it is expected that this will lead to long queues at the airport.
Sri Lanka has divided its e-visa into three categories: a visa for business trips, a visa for tourist trips and a transit visa. This makes it very easy to choose the right visa. Applying for one is also very simple, because the form can be filled in online. Filling in the form takes a few minutes at most and costs £14,95 per person. Within a few days, the e-visa will arrive in your e-mail inbox. However, it is still recommended to apply for the visa or ETA Sri Lanka well in advance. The Sri Lanka e-visa allows you to stay in the country for 30 days.
This means that it is no longer necessary to visit the embassy or consulate. However, if you wish to stay for longer than 30 days, this is still needed.