Significant Step to Boost Tourism, India’s Visa-On-Arrival

Much attention is paid these days to the recent decision of Government of India to grant visas on arrival to the travelers visiting from 180 countries. It is widely believed, rightly so, that the step would enable to tackle India’s fiscal deficit.

In wake of the current decision, this is what Jyotsna Suri, the VP of NDICCI said, “The new liberalized visa regime has the potential to make India one of the most favoured tourist destinations of the world.”

The list of countries includes U.K., U.S. and China prominently. It is a major step as there were only 11 countries earlier. In that list, Finland, Singapore and Japan figured prominently. The scheme began in 2010 and the visas were granted for 30 days for $60. Last year, in 2013, more than 20,000 visas were granted, the number was high by five times compared to the year 2010.

The other advantage of this scheme is that under the program, online registration is also possible. According to Rajeev Shukla, Minister for Planning pertaining to the concerned department said that it may took nearly five to six months to get the expanded visa-on-arrival.

It is noteworthy to consider that international tourist arrivals grew depressingly in wake of global slowdown. The addition from an Indian side was the brutal murder of an Indian girl student in December 2012 along with other incidents.

The recorded tourist footfalls were 6.8 million in 2013, slightly up from 6.6 million in 2012 and 6.3 million in 2011. The Government of India’s current decision would certainly hope to achieve the target of 12 million tourists by 2016.

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