In the period from January to November 2011, Sri Lanka received just over 7.5 lakh tourists. Of this, over 1.5 lakh were Indians. In 2010, out of the total of about 6.5 lakh tourists, Indians accounted for over 1.2 lakh, says the Hindu.
Indians constituted about 20 per cent of the tourists to Sri Lanka in 2011, almost the same as the year before.
According to the Indian High Commission in Colombo, in 2011 the visa office issued about 2 lakh visas to Sri Lankan nationals to facilitate travel to India.
This year, the numbers from India are expected to reach an all-time high owing to the International Cricket Committee's Twenty20 World Cup being held in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan immigration has requested people travelling to make sure that they apply for the right kind of visa ahead of commencing journey to the country. The online travel approval facility is exclusively meant for tourists, and not for any other group of persons, it has said. Businesspersons, journalists, and persons coming for other businesses should approach the nearest Sri Lankan Mission and obtain an appropriate visa, the Hindu further stated.