Indian Tourism Ministry is planning to extend the visa-on-arrival facility at more airports like Bangalore and Hyderabad to visitors from about 15 countries.
“We have proposed to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs to extend the visa-on-arrival facility to be available at more international airports in India including Bangalore and Hyderabad which would cover tourists from about 15 more countries under its ambit,”
Additional Director General (MR), Tourism Ministry, A K Gupta said on the sidelines of the Great India Travel Bazaar (GITB) 2013 function. Both the ministries are examining the proposal and its feasibility, he added.
An initiative of the Tourism Ministry, Department of Tourism (Rajasthan) and industry chamber FICCI, GITB has been successfully organised in Jaipur since 2008. It is a pan-India international platform for inbound tourism. Currently, the visa-on-arrival scheme is available at four international airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. It covers citizens of over 11 countries including Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines and Myanmar.
The visa-on-arrival scheme has been a huge success and contributed to increase in the number of tourists from these countries, Gupta said. Last year, the Tourism Ministry had said the government was in the final stages of consultations on allowing visas on arrival to citizens of another 10 countries, including Germany, France and Russia.
According to a FICCI Knowledge Paper on Inbound tourism ( released in February 2013), the number of travel visa on arrival tourists registered a growth of 54.6 per cent as compared to the same period in 2012.