The revenue earned through the online visa approval system introduced at the beginning of this year has surpassed Rs. one billion mark.
According to the Controller General of the Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera the revenue earned through the above has exceeded Rs. 1.2 billion.
The Government introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system on January 01.
The new system replaced the old one of granting visa on arrival at the port of entry to nationals from 78 countries for short visits. On the basis of reciprocity, citizens of Singapore and The Maldives are exempt from the requirement of obtaining ETA to visit Sri Lanka. Perera said the ETA has become very popular with visitors to the country.
"We have received very positive responses from a large number of foreigners about the system. The quick approval process, technology, easy to use and the long list of convenient features have earned the praise of visitors," Perera said.
"Some sectors voiced concern on the introduction of such a system before it came in to being in January 2012.They opined that this could have an adverse effect on tourist arrivals. Contrary to these beliefs, tourist arrivals to the country have kept rising at a very appreciable level," he said.