The online visa approval system introduced at the beginning of this year has brought in record revenue to the government to the tune of millions of rupees.
The government introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system on January 01 to grant prior approval for visa via online for foreign nationals from 78 countries except for visitors from Singapore and Maldives, the two countries that reciprocate the on-arrival visa system with Sri Lanka.
The visa approvals granted within the first 45 days of this year had brought in a record income of over Rs 170 million, Immigration and Emigration Controller Chulananda Perera has revealed.
According to the Controller the ETA has become very popular with visitors to the country.
According to Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the month of January recorded 85,874 tourists arrivals to the country.
"We have received very positive responses from a large number of foreigners about the system. The quick approval process, technology, ease of use and the long list of convenient features have earned the praise of visitors," Perera said.
The country expects to reach a target of one million tourist arrivals this year and revenues of US$ 1 billion.