Cabinet has granted approval for visa-free entry to visitors from seven countries, including India, China, and Russia, as a pilot project until March 31, 2024, according to Tourism Minister Harin Fernando.
In a tweet, he announced that immediate visa-free entry has been authorized for visitors from India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The Ministry of Tourism had previously revealed that a cabinet paper was presented during a previous Cabinet meeting to issue free tourist visas to foreigners from five countries visiting Sri Lanka. This cabinet paper was jointly presented by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando, Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry.
The main objective of this initiative is to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka, with the goal of increasing tourist arrivals to five million in the coming years, as stated by the Tourism Ministry. Sri Lanka is also included among the 20 countries designated for Chinese tourist travel.
This program is expected to simplify the visa process, save time and money for foreign tourists, and encourage more visits to Sri Lanka. Additionally, the ministry plans to introduce an e-ticketing system for various tourist sites in the near future.