China, France, UK and 3 more in e-visa list; India sees 421.6% jump in tourists
Posted on February 23, 2015
NEW DELHI: Citizens from China, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and Malaysia will soon be able to get online visas to India, expanding the number of countries that can avail this facility to 50. India had introduced electronic visa for 44 countries in November last year.
“The six countries recommended by the ministry to the department of home affairs for issuance of e-visa are China, the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Malaysia,” tourism secretary Lalit Panwar said. He was speaking at the India Heritage Tourism Conclave by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday.
Countries that already have the electronic visa authorization or online visa facility include the US, Australia, Japan, Israel, Germany and Russia.
India has already issued 65,000 e-visas in the last 75 days and, on an average, 1000 electronic visa authorizations are being issued a day. There was a 421.6% jump in tourist arrivals during December 2014 compared to the previous year. India had issued 2,700 visas in December 2013 whereas the number of ETAs issued during December 2014 was 14,083.
Online visa facility is applicable for visitors traveling to India for recreation, short duration medical treatment and business visit for a stay of 30 days. It is available at nine airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Thiruvanathapuram.
Panwar also spoke about expecting a “windfall bonanza” on budget allocations for the tourism sector as it was categorized as a priority developmental sector for the economy by PM Narendra Modi.
“The tourism ministry has been consistently pitching for higher allocations with the finance ministry to protect, preserve, promote and restore its rich heritage of over 5,000 years of Indian history and indications are suitably impressive and, therefore, the aspirations and expectations of the tourism ministry have already enlivened so that with the higher allocations, the tourism ministry is able to implement the prime minister’s vision for developing its tourism and heritage,” Panwar said.
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