Indian tourism industry is on the path to progress with some great initiatives taken by the Modi government in the last one year. The most significant move that brought the ray of hope among travel agents across the country was introduction of E-Tourist Visa in November, 2014. Then extending the facility to not one or two nations, but 77 nations till date.
The Ministry of Tourism has released the numbers suggesting tourist arrivals in the first 4 months of this year. Compared to Jan-Apr 2014 which attracted 8,008 tourists, India this year witnessed a whopping 1086% growth and recorded 94,998 arrivals between Jan-Apr 2015.
The data released by the Ministry shows the top ten countries that availed E-Tourist Visa facility:
- Republic of Korea(4.67%)
- New Zealand(2.67%) and
The service was launched as Visa-on-Arrival, but was recently renamed as E-Tourist Visa following the confusion created by the name. Most visitors thought it to be a visa-on-arrival obtainable at any of the 9 port-of-entries that offer the service in the country. Whereas, the service actually requires a visitor to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) at least a week before travelling and upon receiving the ETA will be given a visa at the port-of-entry.
In November 2014, the service was first extended to 43 countries and since then more 34 countries have been added to the list. The most recent to be added is the neighboring China.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to China put all speculations to rest and announced E-Tourist Visa facility for Chinese nationals.
Source: The Economic Times
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