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Free Visas for Tourists from China, Russia, India, Thailand, and Indonesia

14 October 2023 05:42 am - 48     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka is to issue visas free of charge to tourists from five nations who are frequent visitors to the island, a cabinet minister said yesterday.

Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando told Daily Mirror that he and Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles submitted a Cabinet paper to this effect for its approval.

As per the cabinet paper, tourists from China, Russia, India, Thailand and Indonesia will be allowed to visit Sri Lanka without a visa fee. "Tourists of these five nations will be able to obtain visas without a fee. They will have to obtain visas when visiting Sri Lanka, but no fee will be charged. They will have to obtain a visa for security purposes," the Minister said.

“The purpose of the decision is to attract more tourists from these nations and to achieve the set target of attracting five million tourists to visit Sri Lanka annually in the coming years. Also, Sri Lanka is among 20 nations which China had recommended its citizens to visit," he noted. (Yohan Perera)

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  Comments - 48

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  • Jude Saturday, 14 October 2023 06:00 AM

    It's gonna help mostly to Indians and Chinese low-budget travelers.yeah.

    BuffaloaCitizen Saturday, 14 October 2023 08:55 PM

    Why do you think high budget travelers will come to a one horse nation like Sri Lanka?

    Why Are Sri Lankan Politicians So Stupid Saturday, 14 October 2023 06:09 AM

    Ask any genuine Sri Lankan involved in tourist trade, they would tell you in the above list of “free visa travellers” Indians should not be included. They do not come to spend money in Sri Lanka but bring things from India to sell here in Sri Lanka.

    Most did Sinhala medium so to be expected Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:31 PM

    Next generation may see through issues better, but Sinhala medium or Tamil medium politicians are educated to be crooks.

    THE TRUTH N,V, Saturday, 14 October 2023 06:51 AM


    Shalani Tharaka Saturday, 14 October 2023 07:03 AM

    Beggars or tourists ? If they can pay for an air ticket, why not pay for a visa ? Silly No ?

    Ranjith Pieris Saturday, 14 October 2023 03:06 PM

    In many countries they do this. For Europeans many countries offer free visas. Sri Lanka iffers nothing and tourists who come here are ripped off first by private taxis, hotels and by every small trader as well as government tourist sites or at national parks. At Sigiriya you pay a hefty fee such as 5000 rupees but they never give a piece of paper describing the map of Sigiriya or the history of it in a few lines. No toilets at main railway stations and the ones you have can smell from miles away. Ex. Colombo Fort, Maradana,Peradeniya, Hatton, Nanuoya and the list is long. Tourist sites have no facilities at all.Torist trains have canteens with disgustingly old or oil soaked food. pickpockets are rampant. Even Kurumba vendors, small shops who sell water bottles charge you more than double.Hotels are really experience when you compared to Thailand, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Indonesia.You must thank every tourist who come to this hell hole for coming here.

    Kandiah Balendran Saturday, 14 October 2023 07:04 AM

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel. You need to attract high end tourists not low end people smugglers.

    Steve Saturday, 14 October 2023 07:05 AM

    Why was this not done a long time ago? Learn from what other competitive tourist destinations in the region are doing.

    Sambo Saturday, 14 October 2023 07:33 AM

    Will we have to and fetch them also free of charge.

    Sam Saturday, 14 October 2023 07:36 AM

    This will do nothing to increase tourists from these regions. It will however negatively affect arrivals from others!! Don't do it. Start treating everyone the same please.

    Ram Saturday, 14 October 2023 08:18 AM

    Why not free visas for the Western Nations? This is discrimination.

    When Western Nations respect brown skinned persons as equal then visa Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:41 PM

    No visa for rich complainers from Western Nations. They deserve to part with their money quickly and go back to their lands sooner.

    Citizen Saturday, 14 October 2023 08:46 AM

    Well done have selected the right countries to prosper Sri Lanka.. The Red Light vision is very much closer to all Sri Lankans now.

    Vis Saturday, 14 October 2023 09:30 AM

    Anything for investors from other countries...

    CJ Saturday, 14 October 2023 09:43 AM

    Have a proper tourism strategy. Just giving a free visas wont get the high spenders to this country...

    Saseeka Mudalige Saturday, 14 October 2023 10:22 AM

    Why are commentators here so outraged by this correct decision? Is it only right for you when they give you something for free from these countries? how stupid and ungrateful our people are...aiooo

    Mark Anandappa Saturday, 14 October 2023 10:24 AM

    Hope these countries will reciprocate with Srilankan passport holders too.

    Lokka Malli Saturday, 14 October 2023 10:26 AM

    Excellent in this case most of these country tourists are came to SL with free visa n doing free lancers to earn money here but least make sure happy ending free.

    SLEx Saturday, 14 October 2023 10:59 AM

    Everyone is talking about high spenders. Nothing in Sri Lanka is high spending. For attracting high spenders we need ultra luxury hotels, restaurants and malls. No one wants to pay 100 dollars for a family of four to come in. With the price of air line tickets, the vacation for a family in Sri Lanka would cost a large amount. Our country is not in a situation where that is worth it for foreigners to spend large amounts of money just to come into the country. They come here for the reasonable prices with natural beauty. Goes to show non of you have travelled or have any idea of what is taken into consideration when flying for vacation.

    Cheap Move Saturday, 14 October 2023 11:11 AM

    Wrong move getting peasants they are going to ruin the country and won't bringing any foreign exchange. lame marketing is going to bring in criminals and petty thieves and crime is going to go up.

    Vijai deb Sunday, 15 October 2023 02:42 AM

    Come to Malaysia, hazzle free and least chances of being ripped off.

    Aussie Saturday, 14 October 2023 11:30 AM

    Bye bye!

    wsw Saturday, 14 October 2023 11:44 AM

    Do Indians provide Visa free entry to Sri Lankans ? Stupid move anyway, will only encourage Kallathonis to come over to our country to sell their crap and make money, not spend money.

    BuffaloaCitizen Saturday, 14 October 2023 09:00 PM

    At one time Indians may have come to SL illegally, but no more. Today we are a pariah country laced with crooks and racism and totally bankrupt. Not even Haiti Citizens would want to come to this stupid nation. Only we Sinhalese are now leaving like rats to other nations.

    Nyjra Saturday, 14 October 2023 11:46 AM

    Why not grant this priviledge to Sri Lankan born foreign citizens?

    Sudhir Saturday, 14 October 2023 11:49 AM

    It is sad to see hatredness toward Indian. SL people should not forget the kind of help Indian govt extended during thick and thin, especially during covid time or even during recent crisis. India is top 5 big economy now, where you guys stand !!!!

    Jayasuriya Saturday, 14 October 2023 12:09 PM

    It’s one sided only. What about us for Sri Lankans? A smart move would be to have bilateral visa agreements. We will have go through all the difficulties isn’t it? In addition, a slight cost/charge on the visas does not matter for quality tourists? No wisdom in decision making? What more expect from these opportunistic politicians.

    Lynne Saturday, 14 October 2023 12:15 PM

    Such a shame that this is not extended to Europeans! We too like to holiday in Sri Lanka, but imagine if you are a family and have to pay $50 per person for a Visa, this can be a cost constraint for many! Besides, where does this money go??

    Imtias Saturday, 14 October 2023 01:31 PM

    Its dangerously low. Why do we have to stoop down to that level. Where are we heading.

    Visa for fee scam started by Gota brother President no now good one Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:40 PM

    During Rajapaksa Presidency, he along with making Sri Lankan airlines completely owned by Sri Lanka also started the Visa for fee scam.

    German Tourist who vist SriLanka 34 years Saturday, 14 October 2023 02:45 PM

    On behalf of all Germans, I say thank you, thank you, that we idiots who spend a lot of money in you country continue to have to spend a lot of money on a visa.

    Please you are most welcome to just donate that to poor children instead Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:38 PM

    There are so many Europeans persons who want to feel like they buy everything and can complain. Sorry, you cannot have your right to complain as you like, often unfairly and expect free visa.

    Ranil does not like Germans questions make fun of Lanka culture Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:42 PM

    Recently ranil, the fool president made a big show of being treated like second rater by DW Germany. Maybe you are unaware of international politics, but that is reality.

    Alan Griffin Saturday, 14 October 2023 03:15 PM

    And who will compensate Sampath Bank for the loss of $2 per individual visa application processing fee for the $50 Tourist Visa from the UK, who along with Germany represent a high percentage of monthly visitors.

    Sam Saturday, 14 October 2023 03:18 PM

    I propose that the US, UK, Australia, NZ, and all Western countries charge a fee of US 1000/= dollars from all sri lankans for tourist and any other visas.

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 14 October 2023 03:28 PM

    Why free? , charge a small fee. They charge us too when we visit their countries. Those who travel can very well afford USD 20 to 50 visa fee. If mot then they are not tourists.

    Cherath Saturday, 14 October 2023 03:55 PM

    It's good only if it's a reciprocal arrangement with those countries. As a one sided only offer, it implies Sri Lanka's utter desperation(through begging) and/or that gigantic rip offs that await the gullible visitors from these countries at every turn once they've landed.

    Concerned Saturday, 14 October 2023 06:58 PM

    Hello Indonesian Embassy!! Are you ready to extend Sri Lankans also with free Visa? We re waiting for your feedback

    Why you want that Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:32 PM

    You want to go to Indonesia? Why anyone want to go their free visa or not. They Indonesian want to leave their to visit better place, and free on arrival visa would make that easier.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Saturday, 14 October 2023 09:54 PM

    Let SriLanka be a Visa Free country for all countries, similar to Singapore, with one month arrival Visa free.

    10 Year ago Sri Lanka was on-arrival free Visa for other countries Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:33 PM

    It was that way you know. Until same nationalists ruined things.

    Jason Smith Saturday, 14 October 2023 09:59 PM

    Glad I read this. I was about to book my ususal 4 weeks in Sri Lanka over December January. Now going to Bali instead. Sri Lanka has shown it does not want visitors from UK so I will not be coming. I will make it known on Tripadvisor that westerners are no longer welcome in Sri Lanka.

    UK vistors who support their government for war crimes in Israel not welcome Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:35 PM

    Many UK persons want the brown skins to lick pale skins shoes. Quite a majority in UK are support their government to evict 2 million Palestinian from ancestral lands to catch 2000 murders. Celts are UK true owners, and Anglo-saxsons are from Germany which later became Nazi Germany during WWII. And Anglo-saxon known to be most racist group in the world until 10 years ago. Racist UK traveller not wanted here.

    VhildOfGod Sunday, 15 October 2023 02:40 PM

    Imtias, here is the reason SIMPLY TO COUNT THE NUMBER of TOURISTS that have visited the Country!!. I don't think it for the purpose of bringing in and spending big while on holiday, I presume the numbers seem more important than the actual foreign exchange that comes into the Country.

    Roger D S Monday, 16 October 2023 08:13 AM

    From the time a tourist arrives,airport taxes etc are paid.Creating jobs

    Ron hardy Monday, 16 October 2023 04:19 PM

    People from other parts of the will come to vist sri Lanka due to history beaches beautiful up country tranquility and many more beautiful things that tourist can experience sri Lanka should attract tourist from offering life experience holiday with pure beauty not just giving away free visa specialize team should take full responsibility to attract tourist from mind blowing to experience the paradise

    Seeniamma Kandimal Monday, 16 October 2023 04:30 PM

    We have enough given by Moda IMF to enjoy by GON SL politicians!

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