Sri Lanka and Nepal sets 2020 as tourism year

2020 kicks off as the year of free tourist visa and ‘Visit Us’ campaign as Malaysia and Thailand are already promoting 2020 as ‘tourism year’.

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It is just Day 3 of 2020 and we already have 3 countries inviting us to join their tourism celebration the whole year around. The Malaysian government just a couple of days back announced the Visit Malaysia 2020’ campaign, permitting a 15-day visa exemption for tourists, particularly from China and India. Whoo!

Following the suit, Nepal, too has launched their ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ campaign. Lighting the flame of unity, President Bidya Devi Bhandari officially launched Visit Nepal 2020 on January 1st 2020 with the slogan ‘Lifetime Experience’. The ambitious campaign is aimed to promote tourism in Nepal and attract 2 million tourists during the year 2020. In his address Nepal's Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai said the government has a goal of making tourism one of the key pillars of Nepali economy. President Bhandari urged all Nepalis, residing in the country and abroad, to be a part of the campaign and make it successful as Nepali culture equated ‘guest with god (Atithi Devo Bhava)’. Tourism ministers from India, China, Myanmar and Jamaica were present during the inauguration and extended their good wishes to Nepal for the grand success of the VN2020 campaign.

Sri Lanka has decided to extend the free visa-on-arrival scheme till April 30th 2020 for the citizens of 48 countries, including India! The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga who urged that Sri Lanka is trying to revive the tourism sector which was hit by the Easter Sunday bombings. Post that Sri Lanka suspended their visa-on-arrival scheme to citizens of 39 countries. As a means to recover the country's tourism industry, Sri Lanka granted free visas to travellers from 49 countries, including India, for a period of six months from August 1. As the period comes to an end this month, the Immigration and Emigration Department lobbied the government to suspend the visa scheme, noting that there will be a loss of revenue. However, in the wake of getting a complete recovery, the Sri Lanka tourism industry voted for the continuation of free visa-on-arrival scheme.

Thailand has already been attracting Indians and travellers of other nationalities by offering them free visa-on-arrival (VoA) for quite some time now. Since this move has paid off well, in terms of numbers, Thailand has once again decided to extend the date of this deal. In its latest move to attract more travellers, Thailand has now waived off visa fees for Indian travellers till April 2020.

Seems like 2020 is the year of free tourist visa and ‘Visit Us’ campaign!

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