Colombo, July 31 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka will begin to waive off its existing visa fee for travelers from 48 countries including China from Aug. 1 as part of the island’s efforts to attract more tourists into the country, Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister, John Amaratunga said here Wednesday.
In a media briefing held in Colombo, Amaratunga said that cabinet approval has been obtained to waive off the existing 25-U.S.-dollar visa fee for travelers arriving from the listed countries which included China, India, the United States, Germany, Canada, Malaysia and Indonesia, among others.
Amaratunga said the policy would remain in place for six months.
Controller General of Immigration and Emigration, Pasan Ratnayake said travelers wanting to visit Sri Lanka could obtain the visa approval by submitting all required information through the electronic method by accessing the Sri Lankan embassy websites in their respective countries or by visiting the Immigration website.
For travelers who have not obtained visa approval before arriving in the country, they can do so by submitting the necessary documents at the existing visa counter set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
He said travelers from the listed countries will be issued a free 30-day visa and if any travelers need an extension, they will be required to make a payment.
Despite suffering a set back from the Easter Sunday terror attacks on April 21, Sri Lanka is aiming to attract at least 1.9 million to 2 million tourists by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking at the media briefing, assured that Sri Lanka was now safe for travel as all the suspects linked directly and indirectly to the suicide explosions had been arrested or had died.
The following is a list of the country who will be exempted from the entry visa fee –
9/ Slovak Republic
10/ South Korea
18/ New Zealand
39/ Czech Republic