During the month of April a total of 70,045 tourists on e-Tourist Visa in comparison to 19,139 tourists the same month last year, registering a growth of 266%.
- From January- April 2016, a total of 3,91,094 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 94,998 during the same period last year, registering a growth of 311.7%.
The Centre claims this high growth may be attributed to the introduction of e-Tourist Visa for 150 countries as against the earlier coverage of 43 countries, in an official release.
The top 10 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during April, 2016 were UK (18.82%), USA (14.08%), Russia (8.16%), France (7.12%), China (6.31%), Australia (4.67%), Germany (4.32%), Canada (3.70%), Thailand (2.09%) and Netherlands (1.93%)
The top 10 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during April, 2016 were New Delhi Airport (46.48%), Mumbai Airport (19.09%), Goa Airport (9.96%), Bengaluru Airport (6.48%),Chennai Airport (5.55%), Kochi Airport (3.02%), Kolkata Airport (2.50%), Hyderabad Airport (2.23%), Trivandrum Airport (1.44%) and Amritsar Airport (1.37%) .
The Government of India launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme on 27th November 2014. In February this year, the ministry of tourism has extended e-tourist visas to citizens of 37 more countries, enabling the facility for citizens arriving at Indian airports to 150 countries. Before that the scheme was available for citizens of 113 countries arriving at 16 Airports in India.
– Earlier this month, the government had also announced that they will soon be providing e-visas to patients seeking prolonged treatment, according to the Indian Express. As a major boost to medical tourism, the applicants from the 150 countries eligible for e-tourist visas will be able to send online applications for medical visas.
– In January, the government had announced its plans to provide a gift kit with SIM cards to e-tourist visa holders on entry.
– In November 2015, the government decided to revise the visa fees for tourists arriving under the scheme, clubbing the 113 countries into 4 groups for charging differential rates. Bank charges had also been reduced from $2 to 2.5% of the e-Tourist Visa fees.
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