Earlier, Indians had to pay almost Rs 2,400 as visa fee on arrival in Sri Lanka
In an attempt to boost tourism after the recent terror attacks, Sri Lanka is offering free visa on arrival to Indian passport holders starting from August 1. This announcement was made by the Tourism Ministry of Sri Lanka recently.
In the new scheme, Sri Lanka has added 10 new countries to the list which were previously not included in the 39-country scheme which were provided free visas. The countries which are now on the list include China, India, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Philippines, Russia and England.
This scheme was devised and was originally rolled out to beef up travel during the off-season which falls in the period between May and October. However, after the terrorist attacks in Colombo, tourism took a massive hit and hence, this announcement will help this sector find its feet all over again.
It should be mentioned here that despite India being one of the biggest contributors to the tourism market in the island nation – it contributes to over 18 per cent of all tourist arrivals in the country – it was not on the list of the original 39 countries to be offered free visa on arrival.
As per a report in PTI, the island nation received 7,40,600 foreign tourists in the first three months of 2019. Around 450,000 Indians visited Sri Lanka last year and the island nation is expecting the total Indian tourist arrivals to cross one million mark in 2019.
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