Union Tourism Minister Shri K Chiranjeevi met the Union Home Minister Sri Sushilkumar Shinde here today and submitted a proposal to extend Visa-on-arrivals to 16 more countries.
The Ministry of Tourism strongly felt that the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) facility for those countries, which are potential source markets to India and where there have been no security related issues in the past or likely to be in future can be taken up under this scheme. Presently, the Tourist Visa on Arrival with a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility is being granted by Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata airports to the citizens of eleven countries viz. Singapore, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Japan, Finland, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar.
An independent study conducted by the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) has noted that TVOA scheme has a significant and positive impact on the decision to travel to India. This scheme needs to be expanded to cover more countries and more ports of entry. The Ministry of Tourism had proposed extension of TVOA to the following markets:
(i) Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Sweden and Norway to cover the European and Scandinavian countries which are key inbound markets.
(ii) Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to cover the emerging markets from the CIS countries.
(iii) Brazil and South Africa to cover foster IBSA Cooperation and Trinidad & Tobago to foster our historical links.
(iv) Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei to cover all the ASEAN countries which will be consistent with our look east policy.
The Ministry of Tourism had also proposed extension of TVOA to more airports namely Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Goa, Bodhgaya and Trivandrum.
Visa on Arrival is an attraction for potential tourists in key markets and at times also helps in tapping the people who make decisions at the last moment. The Ministry of Home Affairs is considering this issue of extending TVOA to the 16 countries as proposed by Ministry of Tourism.
Keeping in view the recent travel trends, the Ministry of Tourism has also proposed TVOA scheme for South Korea, which is a very important tourist generating market.