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The ministry of tourism has extended e-tourist visas to citizens of 37 more countries. As of February 2016, the government has extended the facility to citizens arriving at Indian airports to 150 countries.

Government of India launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme on 27th November 2014. In his 2015 budget speech, union finance minister Arun Jaitley had said the government would be extending the e-tourist visas to 150 countries in a bid to boost tourism in India.

As a result of opening to to 150 countries, a total of 1,17, 210 tourists arrived in February 2016 on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 24,985 during the month of February 2015 registering a growth of 369.1%.

The percentage shares of  top 10 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities  during  February, 2016  were as follows: UK (27.86%), USA (13.85%), France (8.08%), Russian Fed. (6.21%), Germany (4.92%), China (4.91%), Canada (4.21%), Australia (3.64%), Republic of Korea (2.15%) and Ukraine (2.00%).

The percentage shares of top 10 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during February, 2016 were as follows: New Delhi Airport (40.96%), Mumbai Airport (20.62%), Goa Airport (13.42%), Chennai Airport (6.19%), Bengaluru Airport (5.42%), Kochi Airport (3.44%), Kolkata Airport (2.50%), Trivandrum Airport (1.88%,) Hyderabad Airport (1.86%) and Ahmadabad Airport (1.58%).

Earlier developments

During the month of October, a total of 56,477 e-Tourist Visa were issued compared to 2,705 during the month of October, 2014 registering a growth of 1987.9%.

In June 2015, the government added 31 more countries which could get e-tourist visas and added 9 more airports (Jaipur, Amritsar, Gaya, Lucknow, Trichy, Varanasi and Ahmedabad) to issue the facility. The airports were chosen due to the large number of foreign tourists they receive on account of their proximity to major tourist spots.

Image source: Flickr user Baigal Byamba under CCBY license.