An amount of Rs 1,573.07 crore has been earmarked for the tourism ministry for 2015-16, giving it a rise of 33 per cent over last fiscal’s allocation, in the union budget presented on Saturday.
Plan expenditure allocation for 2015-2016 is Rs 1,573.07 crore against last year’s Rs 1,182.99 crore.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the budget in parliament made a major announcement to boost Indian tourism sector, proposing to increase cover for visa on arrival (VoA) facility to 150 countries against 43.
“Last year VoA was issued to 43 countries. As tourism in the country has increased, I propose to increase the countries covered under this to 150,” he said.
The government had eased Indian tourism visa regime through the expansion of VoA enabled by electronic travel authorization (ETA) and extended this facility to tourists from countries like the US, Israel, Palestine and Japan to boost tourism sector.