It is raining Visas. After Malaysia introduced visa on arrival for Indian travellers coming from a third world country, India has now introduced visa on arrival for foreign tourists of 180 countries.
India Introduces Visa on Arrival for Tourists from 180 Countries
India has recently made things easy for the tourists entering the country. It has opened its gates for tourists who wish to come to India and see the country. The tourists from the list of 180 countries will not be required therein to visit their local consulates or embassies to procure visas. The tourists from these countries will now get a Visa on Arrival service on all major international airports of India.
This move has been taken by the government to focus more on the travel and tourism sector and make India a more tourist friendly nation. The decision was taken after a meeting between the officials of Home Ministry, External Affairs Ministry and intelligence officials. Tourists will now be able to apply online. They would be intimated after a few days about the status of their VOA on any of the international Indian airports. It is worth to note that earlier in October 2013; the facility was extended to travellers from 40 countries.
Benefits of VOA to Tourists
Sources say that the new reforms will include simplifying the online visa system, relaxing the visa norms for business conferences and senior citizen foreign travellers. Besides, the International airports of India may also include airports of Goa, Amritsar and Gaya that receive foreign tourists in plenty annually. Presently, the VOA is available at international airports of Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivendrum).
Total Number of Tourists in India in Recent Years
India reported about 6.58 million foreign tourists in the year 2012, while the year 2013 saw a total of 6.84 million foreign tourists in India.
It should be noted that India is among the fastest growing tourism industry.