23 May 2011

Thousands take advantage of Indian visa on arrival facility for tourists

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Over 4,000 foreigners from 11 countries used the tourist visa on arrival facility in the first four months of this year, with the maximum numbers hailing from New Zealand, Japan and the Philippines, the tourism ministry said Tuesday.

The highest number of India Visas on Arrival (VoAs) were issued to New Zealand citizens (946), followed by Japan (777), the Philippines (623), Singapore (596), Indonesia (551) and Finland (516).

Speaking on the number of tourists taking advantage of the facility, a spokesperson for the Indian Tourism Ministry said: "During the period January - April, a total number of 4,139 VoAs on arrival were issued."

After just four months, the number of VoA arrivals in 2011 is already set to be a huge increase over 2010, when just 6,500 people in total arrived in India on the scheme.

In 2010, over 6,500 foreigners used the scheme to visit India.

The scheme was first introduced on Jauary 1, 2010 for citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, with the scheme then extended to six more countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar) in January, 2011.

India introduced the scheme in its bid to promote tourism and facilitate the visits of foreigners who plan their visits at a short notice.

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