In an effort to push the tourism into the country even further, the Tourism Ministry has proposed e-visa facility for residents of another 36 countries including Italy, Iran, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Maldives, Kazakhstan, among others.
“These are the source countries…If e-visa is extended to these countries, it would lead to increase in footfalls from such nations,” said Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Tourism Ministry
April 2016 witnessed a growth of 266% for international tourists using e-visa. To push the tourism even further all foreigners visiting India on an e-visa would be given a ‘Gift Kit’ along with a local SIM card for free. All they have to do is recharge the SIM with a desired amount and they are good to go.
According to the sources, this proposal to add 36 more countries to e-visa list has been shared with the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval. If it’s approved, it will allow residents of 186 countries to apply Indian visa online while planning a trip to India.
It is worth noting that this e-visa facility was launched in November 2013 and since then it has attracted a lot many tourists to India. The e-visa facility helps the tourists get visa online without moving an inch. Upon successful approval, an authorization is sent on their email allowing them to visit India. The tourists have to produce this printed authorization to the authorities upon their arrival in the country.
E-Visa Facility Has Helped Increased Tourism In India
Online visa facility has played a key role in increasing the number of tourists visiting India since its launch in 2013.
Around 4,71,909 tourists arrived on e-tourist visa during Jan-Jun 2016 as compared to 1,26,214 tourists coming to India during Jan-Jun 2015. This translates to a growth of 273.9% over the previous year.
June 2016 saw 36,982 tourists visiting India as compared to 15,557 visitors during June 2015, translating to a growth of 137.7%.
The Tourism Ministry also mentioned that the online visa facility was most popular with The U.S. drawing 23.22% of tourists, followed by U.K at 14.16%, China at 6.91%, Australia @ 5.59%, and France at 4.10% in May 2016.
The ministry also stated that in June 2016 New Delhi airport was the favourite port of arrival (42.15%), followed by Mumbai (22.94%), Bengaluru (9.95%), Chennai (9.8%), Hyderabad (3.76%), Kochi (3.52%), Kolkata (2.72%), Ahmedabad (1.16%), Tiruchirapalli (1.15%) and Thiruvananthapuram airport (1.08%).
Earlier only the tourists from 76 countries could arrive using e-tourist visa in India, but this number was increased to 150 countries in Feb 2016. We had also earlier reported that August 2015 saw 724% growth in international tourists visiting the country.
It is worth noting that the government is constantly adding more countries to this list of online visa facility for boosting the tourism in the country and the results have been impressive so far.