Sri Lanka has slashed visa fee it planned to charge from tourists from India and other SAARC countries to US$10 (INR507), from the originally planned US$50 (INR2,537). Non-Indian and non-SAARC nation visitors however, will be charged US$20 (INR1,105).
India raised concerns in late October over Sri Lankan immigration’s decision to levy a US$50 visa processing fee under the island nation’s new electronic travel authorisation system (ETA) from 1 January 2012.
“India through its High Commission here, told us that the visa fee is high. They wanted it reduced for all visitors covering SAARC nations,” Chulananda Perera, the country’s Immigration Controller told PTI.
In terms of visitor arrivals, India has now replaced the UK as the country with most tourist arrivals to the island nation. In September year-on-year, the Indian tourist arrivals had risen by 50% contributing to a 27% rise overall, tourism authorities said.
Travellers from Maldives and Singapore are exempted from ETA and the processing fee.