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Sri Lanka mulls visa-free entry to Indians, other tourist-friendly nations

Tourism Minister Amaratunga said this proposal was aimed at encouraging more people to visit Sri Lanka and avoid 'chaos' at the immigration

Sri Lanka  |  South Asia  |  Ranil Wickremesinghe

IANS  |  Colombo 

Tour operators worried as e-visa becomes expensive with 60% hike

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister has appointed a task force to study the possibility of granting visa-free entry to visitors from certain tourist friendly nations in order to boost arrivals, authorities said on Monday.

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said that some of the countries under consideration are India, along with some other European and West Asian nations, reports Xinhua news agency.

Amaratunga said this proposal was aimed at encouraging more people to visit and avoid "chaos" at the immigration.

Following recommendations from the task force, this proposal may be implemented in the off season months of October to November and March to April, the minister said.

He further said the Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) was currently working on this plan.

Additionally, the Minister said the government was also in discussion with airlines, tour operators and hotels to provide low cost packages.

"These efforts are underway to ensure becomes a destination that would be a visited location throughout the year," Amaratunga said.

Sri Lanka's tourism industry, which was once heavily scarred by a 30-year civil conflict, has become one of the leading industries of the country.

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

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, August 06 2018. 16:19 IST