Visa-free entry for Indian tourists to Sri Lanka likely on the cards
Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka might soon be exempted from the hassle of visa requirement. Sri Lankan Government is mulling to grant visa-free entry for tourists from countries like China and India.
Tourism Minister of Sri Lanka, John Amaratunga, recently stated that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a move to boost tourism is looking out for possibilities of offering visa-free entry to tourists from tourist-friendly countries.
For the said task, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister has even appointed a task force that will be working on the ground level. The proposal for visa-free entry will then be first implemented during off-season months following recommendations from the task force.
This effort comes in the wake of boosting tourism further in the region as the Sri Lankan tourism industry suffered a major jolt a decade back because of the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). However, the island nation has recovered at a fast pace and has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in Asia.
As per the official records, during the first half of 2018, the country recorded a growth of 15.3% as compared to the last year records. While India topped the list by registering a record number of arrivals in Sri Lanka at 206337, Chinese tourists followed at 136294.
Further, all visitors to Sri Lanka are required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation before their arrival. And on the basis of reciprocity visitors from Seychelles, Singapore and Maldives are exempt from the ETA, who can collect a visa on arrival free of charge.
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