In a move to attract tourists from across the world, India is planning to offer Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) to 150 countries. In November 2014, India introduced E-Visa for 43 nations and added another 7 countries to the list in February 2015. Currently, a total of 50 countries enjoy VoA facility to India. However, Minister of Finance Mr. Arun Jaitley, during his budget speech in the parliament, announced that India will soon introduce VoA for 150 countries compared to the current 50 countries.
The Economic Times reported Jaideep Ghosh, the head of Tourism and Hospitality at KPMG, saying, “The proposed increase in the number of countries under the Visa on Arrival scheme, we expect, should catapult the inbound foreign visits to exceed 8 million in the current calendar year. Announcements on conservation and promotion of World Heritage Sites are welcome, however this needs to be done as per international standards. Other initiatives such as Swacch Bharat, Clean Ganga, smart city, women safety, and tax benefits to Yoga need to be widely communicated to create a positive tourism environment”.
The proposed increase in the list of VoA countries will happen in different phases to accomplish the Tourism Vision 2030. The tourism department is currently working on a tourism vision for India to increase foreign tourist arrivals. The number as of 2014 is 8 million which is pretty to other nations like Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai.
The Indian government will undertake measures to maintain and protect heritage sites to offer safe and pleasant sightseeing, said Jaideep Ghosh.
Since E-Visa was introduced in November 2014, foreign tourists arrivals have jumped to a new height. According to a recent statement by Indian government officials, the increase is almost 1000% in the last 3 months compared to the same period last year.
Source: The Economic Times