Sri Lanka mulls visa-free entry to Indians

Major tourist friendly nations, including India will soon visit Sri Lanka visa-free. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a task force to study the possibility of granting visa-free entry to visitors from tourist friendly nations in order to boost arrivals.

“Some of the countries under consideration are India, China along with some other European and West Asian nations,” said Tourism Minister John Amaratunga. The new move is aimed at encouraging more people to visit Sri Lanka and avoid “chaos” at the immigration, the minister added.

Once the task force give the recommendations, the visa-free entry will be implemented in the off season months of October to November and March to April. Amaratunga further said the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) was currently working on this plan.

The government is also in discussion with airlines, tour operators and hotels to provide low cost packages. “These efforts are underway to ensure Sri Lanka becomes a destination that would be a visited location throughout the year,” Amaratunga said.

Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka have recorded a growth of 15.3 per cent during the first half of 2018 compared with the same period last year.