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Sri Lanka Welcomes Indian Travelers with Visa-Free Access

by Rajesh
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Indian tourists enjoy the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka's coastline under the newly reinstated visa-free entry policy.

In a bid to boost tourism and facilitate travel, Sri Lanka has reinstated visa-free entry for visitors from India and several other selected nations.

This move by the Sri Lankan government aims to enhance travel opportunities between the countries. The Cabinet decision, announced on Monday, allows nationals from India, China, Russia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia to enjoy visa-free entry for a 30-day visit to Sri Lanka.

Initially launched as a pilot project in October, this initiative seeks to revitalize the tourism industry, which has been adversely affected by various challenges.

According to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, travelers from the aforementioned countries must apply for a visa through the website www.srilankaevisa.lk before their arrival. The visa is valid for a period of 30 days.

In response to concerns regarding high visa charges imposed by a private company, the Cabinet has decided to maintain a $50 fee for visitors obtaining a 30-day visa on arrival.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s administration has faced pressure from various stakeholders within the tourism sector to keep the maximum visa fee for foreigners at $50. The decision to shift the visa issuance process to a private company with increased fees up to $100 had drawn criticism from multiple quarters, including tourism-related industries. They argued that the high fees and complex procedures were deterring tourists from visiting the country, which is striving to recover from economic challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourism, a significant contributor to Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange earnings, has encountered setbacks due to the impact of the pandemic and internal economic and political crises.


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