In an effort to boost the tourism industry amid the economic crisis, the Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said the island nation has extended its multiple-entry tourist visa to five years.

Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said that Sri Lanka now offers one-year multiple entry visas, reports Xinhua news agency.

The country also issues single entry visas with a six-month stay period.

Bandaranaike international airport officials
Bandaranaike international airport officials wears masks as they direct tourists after they went through a temperature scanner at Bandaranaike international airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka, Jan. 24, 2020(File Photo)IANS

Fernandor said that the cabinet of ministers approved his proposal on Monday.

"Cabinet agreed to extend five-year multiple entry tourist visas for 35 countries to help boost repeat tourism in Sri Lanka. A tourist can stay in Sri Lanka for six months in one stretch with this scheme," he said.

The Minister said that the country had earlier offered a three-month "digital nomad" visa for tourists to attract foreigners engaged in remote work.

bannerghatta national park
Wikimedia Commons

The Minister said that tourism picked up in July and August after the anti-government protests gradually fizzled.

He added that they expect 1 million tourists to arrive in Sri Lanka in 2022.

Ram-setu Bridge
Ram-setu Bridge connecting India and Sri LankaTwitter

"We expect $2 billion from tourism this year," he said.