India has been working aggressively on promoting itself as a tourist friendly nation. An easier visa on arrival (VoA) policy is a part of the equation. A growth of 28.5% was recorded in the number of tourists availing of the VoA Scheme during the period January to October, 2013. A total number of 15,770 VoAs have been issued in this period as compared to 12,273 VoAs during the corresponding period in 2012. In October, the country issued 1,911 VoAs as compared to 1,457 VoAs last October, registering a growth of 31.2%.
As a measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, Government launched the “Visa on Arrival” (VoA) Scheme in January 2010 for citizens of five countries, viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, visiting India for tourism purposes. The Scheme was extended to the citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011. Now, there are talks of extending this facility to over 40 countries.
The number of VoAs issued under the Scheme during January to October 2013 was Japan (5,304), New Zealand (2,925), the Philippines (2,289), Indonesia (2,156), Singapore (1,806), Finland (790), Vietnam (166), Luxembourg (117), Myanmar (113),Cambodia (89) and Laos (15).