Sri Lanka is planning to reduce the deviation tax currently charged to passengers leaving Sri Lanka by passenger vessels and passenger ships to USD 5 and USD20 respectively and grant free baggage allowance up to 60 kg to a passenger traveling by passenger vessels.

In a significant move aimed at enhancing tourism and fostering cultural ties, the Cabinet of Ministers has given the green light to promote maritime passenger transport between Sri Lanka and India. Recognizing the potential for increased access to tourists from both nations, the initiative also aims to encourage cooperation in cultural exchange, arts, and sports.

Key among the approved measures is the introduction of a low-cost travel and transportation fee system. The Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation successfully presented a proposal, which has now been approved, to reduce the deviation tax for passengers leaving Sri Lanka via passenger vessels and ships. The new rates are set at USD 5 for passenger vessels and USD 20 for passenger ships.

Additionally, passengers traveling by passenger vessels will now enjoy a significant benefit with a generous free baggage allowance of up to 60 kg. This move is expected to make maritime travel more affordable and attractive for individuals seeking a convenient and cost-effective means of transportation between the two neighboring countries.

This strategic initiative is poised to not only boost the tourism industry but also strengthen the ties between Sri Lanka and India, fostering greater collaboration in various fields. The simplified fee structure and enhanced benefits are anticipated to make maritime passenger transport a preferred choice, opening up new opportunities for travelers and promoting positive cross-cultural engagements. (