Posted: 19.04.2024 16:09:15

Belarus, Sri Lanka discussed ways to intensify tourism communication

The Sri Lankan delegation discussed with representatives of the Belarusian tourism industry ways to intensify mutual tourist trips, the Republican Union of Tourist Organisations (RUTO) reports

“The Sri Lankan delegation headed by Minister-Envoy Pandula de Zoysa arrived in Belarus amid a sharp increase in visits of Belarusian tourists to Sri Lanka (from 3,600 in 2022 to 11,000 in 2023) registered in this country. A number of meetings were held, including at the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of Belarus. Sri Lankan representatives also met with representatives of the Belarusian tourism industry as part of negotiations among public associations. On April 18th, such a meeting took place with the members of the RUTO,” the Union informed.

As representatives of Sri Lanka noted during business meetings, the number of visits of Belarusians to the island annually ranged from 2,000 to 3,000. In 2023, the flow of visitors from Belarus increased dramatically, and it is an excellent indicator.

As the participants of the meeting noted, the limiting factor is undoubtedly logistics and air transport. However, the flow is growing. If there were a direct flight from Minsk, the growth would be more significant. In this regard, the example of Russia is eloquent: with the advent of direct flights to Sri Lanka from the Russian Federation, the flow of tourists increased dramatically from 80,000 to 197,000.

The RUTO also recalled that before the pandemic, Sri Lanka's national airline flew to Moscow, while now the Russian capital and Colombo are connected by regular Aeroflot flights and charters. Belarusian tourists also get to the island on these flights from Moscow. Another possible option, which is very popular among Belarusians, is the flight from Minsk with the UAE airline Flydubai.

“During the negotiations, it was reported that the possibility of issuing free visas to Belarusians is currently under consideration. Now, the citizens of our country can get a visa upon arrival at the airport or apply for an electronic visa (E-visa) in advance. The cost of it is $50 when issued in advance, $60 – at the airport. At the same time, visa to Sri Lanka is free for Russians and citizens of six other countries. As it was noted at the meeting, negotiations are possible so that Belarusians can get a visa without a fee,” the RUTO noted.

The RUTO also stressed that Sri Lanka has launched a new portal for E-visa registration. From April 17th, E-visa applicants need to visit

“The negotiators also discussed a counter problem: the difficulties faced by Sri Lankan citizens who want to obtain a visa to Belarus and visit our country. While quite a large number of Sri Lankan students study in Belarus, it is difficult for their parents to visit their children (due to issues in obtaining visas). This problem is especially acute during the graduation period. Currently, about 3,000 Sri Lankan students study in Belarus, and they are also interested in having a direct flight that would connect the two countries,” the Union added.

Sri Lanka, an island state in the Indian Ocean, is ideal for lovers of quiet beach holidays who prefer privacy, the beauty of nature, mental comfort, and good service. However, party lovers will also find great options for themselves in Sri Lanka. The main thing is to choose the right resort, and travel agents will help tourists with that. The beach resorts are located on the southwestern coast of the island, the ideal time to visit is from November to April.

These days, representatives of Sri Lanka are also taking part in the Recreation-2024 International Fair of Tourist Services, which is running at Minsk Arena.