Online visa facility works wonders, 22,000 issued in a monthNew Delhi: The Government's initiative to provide Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) became a big hit within a month of its launch. Since November 27, the date of its inception, Government
New Delhi: The Government's initiative to provide Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) became a big hit within a month of its launch. Since November 27, the date of its inception, Government has processed 22,000 visas as compared to 24,963 from January to November 2014.
Indicating a significant boost to the tourism sector, the new system has shown a growth of 41.9 percent as compared to the old Visa on Arrival system.
The facility is available for visitors traveling to India for recreation, short duration medical treatment and casual business visit for a stay of 30 days.
It is open to 43 countries including United States, Australia, Japan, Israel, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, UAE, Jordan, Kenya, Fiji, Finland, South Korea, Singapore, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Oman and Philippines among others. The facility is available at nine airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Thiruvanathapuram.
Till 2014, India was on 76th rank in the visa restriction index compiled by Global residence and Citizenship planning firm Henley and Partners. However, seeing the current growth rate, it is expected to rise now.
Provisional estimates reveal that total tourism-related employment (direct and indirect) has risen from 10.78% in 2010-2011 to 12.36% in 2012-2013. An additional employment of 24.5 million is being targeted by the ministry between 2010 and 2016.
Keeping Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of promoting tourism in India, government is also developing five tourist circuits – Ganga, Krishna, Buddha, North East and Kerala. The tourism ministry plans to spend Rs 500 crore for developing the areas based on specific themes. The ministry also plans to funnel Rs 100 crore for national mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).