Sri Lanka to offer free visa on arrival to Indians

Times Travel Editor|TRAVEL NEWS, SRI LANKA – Apr 19, 2019.

Sri Lanka to offer free visa on arrival to IndiansCredit: Getty Images
In a welcome move, the beautiful country of Sri Lanka will soon be offering free visa to Indian travellers. It is a part of the country’s efforts to promote tourism, aimed at a total of 36 countries that include India as well as Pakistan. The free visa on arrival would be granted to travellers, starting 1st May, 2019, and the promotion would be on for six months in its initial run.

The free visa on arrival would also be granted to other countries, including the USA, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the UK, Australia and more. The campaign might also be extended in case of a successful run that aims to lure more travellers to the country, especially in the monsoon season from May to August. As of now, tourists can only get a Transit Visa if they are passing through the country and are staying for just two days.

The island nation has emerged as one of the fastest growing countries in terms of tourist inflow, seeing a record 2.1 million tourists in 2017. The number reflects the rapidly booming tourism industry in the country, doubling up when compared to the last decade.

Sri Lanka to offer free visa on arrival to IndiansCredit: Getty Images
John Amaratunga, Minister Tourism Development Sri Lanka, issued a statement, saying “We will start granting a free visa period for six months for some selected countries during our off-peak period. In the next phase, we plan to set up a permanent system at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to issue visas on arrival, as is the practice in many countries. This will be a major step forward in attracting more visitors this year.”

He also opined that they are also considering extending the plan to other SAARC nations as well. So yes, if you are keen for a trip to Sri Lanka this year, it might just be the perfect trip idea ever.