Visa on Arrival scheme popular with Japanese tourists

NEW DELHI, Aug 14:  Visa on Arrival (VoA) scheme continues to be popular with Japanese tourists as maximum visitors from the Asian country availed the scheme in July.

A total number of 1,154 VoAs were issued in July this year as against 941 during July, 2012, registering a growth of 22.6 per cent.

While 327 Japanese tourists availed the scheme followed by New Zealand (251), Indonesia (173) and Philippines (172), only eight visitors each from Myanmar, Cambodia and Luxembourg utilised the facility in July. However, the scheme did not get any response from Laos.

As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, the Visa on Arrival Scheme has been launched for 11 countries –  Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos and Myanmar.

During the period January to July 2013, a total number of 10,482 VoAs were issued as compared to 7,662 VoAs during corresponding period of 2012 registering a growth of 36.8 per cent.

Visa on Arrival facility for tourists will now be available at four more international airports across the country, besides the four existing metro cities.

“The Home Ministry has issued orders extending Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility to four more airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Hyderabad and Bangalore with effect from August 15,” said a senior Tourism Ministry official.

Currently, the VoA facility is operational at four international airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. (PTI)