‘Free tourist visa for EU’ to have positive impact on tourism | Daily News

‘Free tourist visa for EU’ to have positive impact on tourism

The Mayor of Milan Dr. Giuseppe Sala at BIT 2019 Travel Show opening ceremony, together with Ravi Dias Jayasinha, President of Gateway SRL and Thoyyib Mohamed, the Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation
The Mayor of Milan Dr. Giuseppe Sala at BIT 2019 Travel Show opening ceremony, together with Ravi Dias Jayasinha, President of Gateway SRL and Thoyyib Mohamed, the Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation

The ‘free tourist VISA for EU’ would have a major positive impact on Sri Lanka tourism, said veteran Sri Lankan born travel agent and President of Gateway SRL based in Italy, Ravi Dias Jayasinha.

“This move by the Sri Lankan government offering free visit visas to Sri Lanka sans any fees or pre-registration, was a wise decision and would definitely increase traffic to Sri Lanka as well as to the Maldives,” he said.

Multiple countries are to be granted visa free entry to Sri Lanka for six months from April 1, this year.

He said that most of the European tourists who fly direct to the Maldives, would now consider having a stopover in Sri Lanka, since they had no hassle in obtaining pre visas.”

Italy is the fourth largest source market to the Maldives, with 105,297 arrivals recorded in 2018. This is a growth of 18.5 percent, compared to 2017. The Italian market holds 7.1 percent of the total tourist arrivals to the Maldives.

This would be the 47th occasion Jayasinha would be participating at the ITB. He also said that Tourism Minister John Amaratunge looks at tourism in a very broad perspective and has a clear vision to develop the industry and the Minister should be commended for pushing this Visa free facility forward.

Jayasinha said that to gain larger benefits from this Free EU visa offer from the government, the Sri Lankan Airlines must seriously re-think of introducing their stalled direct flights at least to Frankfurt and France, as they are major aviation hubs in Europe.

Three destinations, Frankfurt, Milan and Paris were stopped by the national airline saying that they were not profitable routes. “As the national carrier SriLankan has an obligation to support the island’s tourism by considering to resume flights at least to Frankfurt, during the winter season, since Germany is the number one EU destination for Sri Lanka tourism.”

Jayasinha who is one of the leading travel agents in Italy, to feed mainly Maldives and Sri Lanka, said that this message should be conveyed boldly at the ITB Berlin travel show starting this week.”


 

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