Sri Lanka Grants Temporary Visa Exemptions for India and 6 Other Countries

| Post by

Sri Lanka has recently launched a pilot scheme, effective immediately and running until March 31, 2024, offering visa-free entry to tourists from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, and Thailand.

This change to Sri Lanka’s visa policy is part of the island nation’s efforts to boost its tourism sector, which is a significant contributor to the economy.

The decision coincides with the Indian festival season, aiming to increase tourist inflow and support Sri Lanka’s economy, particularly in the wake of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lanka Grants Temporary Visa Exemptions for India and 6 Other Countries

Easier Travel for Temporary Visa-Free Citizens

The visa-free entry policy simplifies the travel process for citizens of these 7 countries. They can now visit Sri Lanka without the hassle and expense of obtaining a Sri Lankan visa.

This ease of travel is expected to encourage more tourists to consider Sri Lanka as a destination.

Focus on Indian tourists

Indian tourists have been a top source market in Sri Lanka for many years. This year, 20% of the total number of tourists arrivals in Sri Lanka have been Indian.

The Sri Lankan Convention Bureau (SLCB) has emphasized India as a priority market, focusing on attracting various types of tourists, including families and adventure seekers.

Special deals for Indian tourists are being worked out, and collaborations with low-cost carriers are in progress to facilitate easier travel​.

Thisum Jayasurya, chairman of the Sri Lankan Convention Bureau (SLCB), commented in a delegation last year:

“India has always stood strong with Sri Lanka with their boundless love to visit and explore our island. Wonders of our paradise are ready for Indians.”

Sri Lanka Aims to Boost Tourism

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry aims to attract 2 million visitors this year, a significant increase from the previous target of 1.5 million.

The visa-free initiative is part of broader efforts to revive the tourism sector, which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s financial crisis.

By making travel more accessible and affordable, Sri Lanka hopes to see a substantial rise in tourist arrivals, bringing much-needed revenue to the country.

The diverse attractions, including beaches, nature, culture, and adventure activities, are being promoted to appeal to a broad spectrum of tourists.

Other Asian Nations Ease Visa Requirements

Following Sri Lanka’s lead, Thailand has also announced a visa-free entry policy for Indian and Taiwanese tourists, effective from November 10, 2023, to May 10, 2024. This move aims to encourage more tourists during the peak travel season.

Thailand, which had previously waived tourist visa requirements for Chinese nationals, is looking to boost its tourism sector, a vital part of its GDP.

Thailand and Sri Lanka’s decision reflects a broader trend among Asian countries to relax visa requirements to stimulate their tourism industries and recover from the setbacks caused by the pandemic.

Related News

  • Sri Lanka Lifts All COVID-19 Restrictions for Travelers

    Sri Lankan officials have lifted all COVID-19 travel restrictions. International arrivals can now enter the country without showing any additional COVID-19 documentation. The change came into effect on December 13, 2022, and it applies to all nationalities arriving from any country. With the removal of extra health requirements, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is expected to

    Read full article
  • airport timetable

    The government of Sri Lanka has announced that it has reopened its borders to foreign tourists for the first time in 10 months following an entry ban to contain the spread of COVID-19. On January 19th, 2021, the chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Kimarli Fernando, announced that Sri Lankan borders would reopen

    Read full article
  • Sigiriya Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka plans to reopen its shores to foreign visitors in August after several months of an international travel ban due to the coronavirus pandemic. Airports in Sri Lanka have been closed and visas and electronic travel authorizations (ETAs) have been suspended since April as the country, like many others, has closed itself off from

    Read full article
  • View of Sigiriya rock in Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka is to extend its free visa on arrival program to visitors from 48 countries. This recent development in global visa information is to be enacted imminently and is to remain in place until April 30th for applicable travelers. The extension of the visa on arrival system was announced by Sri Lankan Tourism Minister

    Read full article