Sri Lanka approves free visa scheme for India, China, Russia; US not on list | World News - Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka approves free visa scheme for India, China, Russia; US not on list

Oct 24, 2023 10:34 AM IST

According to the tourism ministry of Sri Lanka, the purpose of this move is to attract more tourists to the country.

The Sri Lanka cabinet has approved a proposal to grant free visas to travelers from seven countries - India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand for five months, Sri Lanka's minister of foreign affairs Ali Sabry announced on Tuesday. According to Sabry, the free visa travel has begun with immediate effect as a pilot project and will continue till March 31.

Sri Lanka approves visa-free entry for visitors from India, six other countries(HT/Picture for representation)
Sri Lanka approves visa-free entry for visitors from India, six other countries(HT/Picture for representation)

Also read: Sri Lanka considers India's request on Chinese ship

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According to the tourism ministry of Sri Lanka, the purpose of this move is to attract more tourists to the country. “We are expecting to increase tourist arrivals to five million over the coming years,” the ministry said as quoted by the Sri Lankan media.

The move is also expected to save money and time spent on obtaining visas for the travellers.

Also read: China to boost 'mutual trust' with Sri Lanka after debt deal: Xi Jinping

Last week, the ministry of tourism announced that a proposal was presented in the Cabinet meeting to issue free tourist visas for travellers from five countries. The cabinet paper was reportedly presented jointly by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando, Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry.

The Cabinet also proposed to introduce an e-ticketing system for most of the tourist sites in the country in the near future, the ministry said, reported local media.

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