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Over 31% growth in tourists availing “Visa on Arrival” in India

Visa on arrival in India registers growth.
Visa on arrival in India registers growth.

The Visa on Arrival (VoA) facilities available to citizens of 11 countries in India witnessed a growth of over 31 percent in October 2013, much to the delight of Indian tourism industry.

New Delhi, Nov 15/Nationalturk – Signalling interest of foreign nationals to visit India for tourism purposes, the Visa on Arrival (VoA) facilities available to citizens of 11 countries in India witnessed a growth of over 31 percent in October 2013.

“In the month of October, at least 1911 VoAs were issued by Indian government  as compared to 1457 VoAs during October 2012, registering a growth of 31.2%,” an Indian Tourism ministry officials said.

He said a growth of 28.5% percent has been recorded in the number of tourists availing  Visa on Arrival (VoA) scheme from January to October this year.

“A total number of 15770 VoAs have been issued by Indian government in this period as compared to 12273 VoAs during the corresponding period of 2012,” he said.

India providing Visa on Arrival facilities to 11 countries

India is providing Visa on Arrival facilities for citizens of 11 countries for visiting India for tourism purposes. The countries granted VoA facilities by India include Japan, New Zealand,  Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Finland, Myanmar, Vietnam, Luxembourg, Cambodia  and Laos.

The official said  436 nations from Japan, 435 from  New Zealand, 409 from  Philippines, 249 from  Singapore, 220 from Indonesia, 97 from Finland, 27 from Myanmar, 24 from  Vietnam, 8 from  Luxembourg, 5 from  Cambodia and one from Laos were provided visa on arrival in month of October.

“From January to October this year, 5304 visa on arrivals were issued for Japanese students, 2925 for nationals of New Zealand, 2289 for tourists of  Philippines, 2156 for citizens of Indonesia, 1806 for tourists of  Singapore, 790 for citizens of  Finland, 166 for nationals of  Vietnam, 117 for citizens of Luxembourg, 113 for tourists of  Myanmar, 89 for citizens of Cambodia and 15 for nationals of  Laos,” he said.

He said this year, highest number of VoAs were issued at New Delhi airport (8,829) followed by Mumbai (3,286), Chennai (2,210), Kolkata (1,099), Bangalore (174), Kochi (75), Hyderabad (68) and Trivandrum(29).

India mulling to extend VoA facility to more countries

As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to country, Indian government launched  “Visa on Arrival” scheme in January 2010 for citizens of five countries, viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, visiting India for tourism purposes. The scheme was extended to  citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011.

Indian government is planning to extend the VoA facilities to more countries including US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden,  Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Norway and Ireland  to allow more foreign tourists to visit the country without any hiccup or visa problems.

According to Indian Tourism ministry officials foreign exchange earnings from tourism during January to August 2013 were $12.025 billion with a growth of 6.7 per cent, as compared to $11.273 billion previous year.

The men dealing with tourism sector said if the Visa on Arrival facility is extended to more countries, then foreign earnings of India will increase manifold.  “It is a good move and should be followed in principle. It will also help the people associated with tourism sector”.

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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk India News

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