Business Times

Indo-Lanka ferry service drawing many travellers

The Indo-Lanka ferry service is now attracting more travellers and the business operations are spruced up for a better customer experience.

But since last week operators are facing problems with visas to India granted only to a specified port of entry. Scotia Princess, the ship that ferries between the two states is now bringing down more than 150-200 passengers onboard with a greater demand expected after August, Arugam Bay Travels MD M. Jauffer told the Business Times.

He noted that they are currently working on establishing a duty free shop within the cruise liner with bar and spa facilities. Currently rates are at US$60 from Colombo to Tuticorin while it costs US$49 from Tuticorin to Colombo.

In respect of the visa issues, Mr. Jauffer said they were in discussion with the Indian authorities in Colombo and the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry. He noted that due to this issue travel agents needed to be better informed when submitting visa applications in a bid to ensure the traveller is not inconvenienced when landing.

It was pointed out that when obtaining the visa the authorities will only allow for entry from the port specified in the application form and this cannot be changed. Meanwhile, the cruise liner is now looking at carrying out international marketing with inquiries already received from the Maldives as well.
Mr. Jauffer said they were favourably looking at commencing services between Colombo and Male, and Colombo and Singapore.

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