Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal to allow a travel company based in China to process visas for Chinese tourists wanting to visit the island country, local media reported on Friday.
The Chinese company will be using the Chinese language Electronic Travel Authorization System (ETA), Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said on Thursday.
Gunawardena said Sri Lanka's Department of Emigration and Immigration has been following the ETA system since 2012 for issuance of visas to tourists from a range of countries.
However, Chinese tourists have found it difficult to use the ETA system as it is available only in English. Therefore, many Chinese tourists go to travel agents and face delays, Gunawardena said.
"It was decided to allow a sub-agent based in China to provide the service in Chinese," the minister said.
The Chinese company approved is Travelson International Travel Services (Shanghai) Limited.
Last year Sri Lanka received over 160,000 tourists from China, making it the second largest market for Sri Lanka tourism after India.