COLOMBO, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers on Thursday approved a proposal to issue on-arrival free visas to tourists from over 30 countries in a bid to boost tourist arrivals during the lean months.
A statement from the Tourism Ministry said the on-arrival free visa service would start for an initial period of six months from May 1 to Oct. 31. The program will be considered for continuation thereafter based on the progress achieved during the trial period.
The proposal to grant on arrival free visas was presented to the cabinet by Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga.
The countries which will be granted the service included Thailand, the United States, Britain, Singapore, and Malaysia, among others.
In addition to the free visa service, Sri Lanka tourism authorities in association with airlines, hotels and other industry stakeholders are also in the process of launching a discounted country promotion package for tourists during the off season period.
The Department of Immigration and Emigration have also begun making necessary arrangements to implement the visa on arrival from May 1.