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Sri Lanka Tourism turns to comprehensive travel app “Visit Sri Lanka”

Sri Lanka Tourism turns to comprehensive travel app “Visit Sri Lanka”

Sri Lanka Tourism has reportedly announced several months earlier the launch of a comprehensive travel app “Visit Sri Lanka”, with the aid of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA).

Following this announcement, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairperson Kimarli Fernando stated that as of August, Version Zero (V0) of the app was ready and awaiting authorisation from the Immigration and Emigration Department to be linked with the online visa process.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, she has explained that the app would be an extension of the online immigration form, where it will include more information relevant to the present situation. Currently the online immigration forms only require basic information, such as the date of the flight, etc., but Covid has made it paramount that more information be shared by the tourists to control the spread.

“We will put the app link on the online form, where tourists coming into Sri Lanka can download it. They will be required to enter information on when they will be arriving and the Level One and Two hotels they will be staying at, which they can book and pay for via the app.”

As per the regulations released by the local health authorities, any tourist entering the country will have designated hotels they need to stay in at different stages of their visit, the news report stated.

It further stated that the first level is a limited list of hotels where the tourist will stay for 14 days, with a PCR test being conducted between the fifth and 11th day, and they will not be allowed to leave the hotel. Once they do a final PCR test on the 14th day, they will be sent to a Level Two hotel – this stage has a wider selection – where the tourists will stay for 28 days, only being allowed to go to designated tourist destinations at particular times.

“Due to these requirements, tourists have to stay in the country for a minimum of 14 days. This is because even if they tested negative 72 hours before the flight, there are cases where they could test positive on the ninth day.”

The app also requires information from the tourists on whether they are travelling to Sri Lanka with a local passport holder.

Fernando has stated that this was a new requirement that was rolled out due to them seeing a surge in inquiries where many of the tourists have personal connections to the country; where they either have a spouse that is Sri Lankan or owns a local business.

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country until the global Covid 19 pandemic obstructed travel between countries. However, Sri Lanka has been certified as a safe and hygienic destination, which would definitely entice foreign travellers. Also, Sri Lanka has been listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications. All this indicate the increasing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. 

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Article Code : VBS/AT/21102020/Z_4

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