Within the first 16 days of January this year 60,989 tourists have arrived in Sri Lanka and the government expects the tourist arrivals to reach 100,000 by the end of this month.
The Minister further said 21,000 out of the total visitors have arrived with the online visa certificate obtained through the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) process that went into effect at the beginning of this year, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said.
The country had earned US$ 393,865 within the 16-day period from the online visa process, the Minister added.
Sri Lanka expects to reach a target of one million tourist arrivals this year and revenues of US$ 1 billion.
A total of 855,975 tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2011 with revenues estimated at US$ 800 million for the year.
Sri Lanka launched a five-year plan to raise the number of arrivals to 2.5 million and to earn annual revenue of US$ 2.75 billion by 2016.