Foreign tourists in India
Foreign tourists in India

The e-tourist visa scheme launched by the Modi government appears to have had its desired effect on the number of tourist arrivals in India.

A total of 83,501 foreigners had visited the country in November using the scheme.

The scheme, launched in November 2014, recorded a growth of 2713.4%  in November 2015. In October 2014, only 2,968 international tourists arrived in the country.

UK topped the list of countries using the facility followed by the USA, France and Germany. Currently, citizens of 113 countries can avail the e-Tourist Visa facility upon arriving at 16 airports in India.

While the UK accounted for 23.93% of the tourist visas, the US notched up 16.33% of those availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during November 2015. The Russian Federation showed 8.17%, France 7.64%, Germany 5.60%, and Australia 4.82% among the top 10 ten countries availing the facility.

Overall, a total of 3,41,683 tourists had arrived in the country during January-November this year against 24,963 in the corresponding period in 2014, posting a growth of 1268.8%.

This sharp growth in foreign tourist arrivals may be due to extension of e-Tourist Visa for 113 countries compared to the previous TVoA (tourist visa on arrival) scheme for 12 countries, The Economic Times reported.

The e-Tourist Visa scheme is aimed at simplifying the lengthy procedures for international travellers who visit India for sightseeing, medical treatment, short business visits or to meet friends and relatives.

The scheme enables the citizens who intend to visit the country to apply for visa online without approaching the Indian Mission.

Upon approval, the visitors would receive an e-mail authorizing their travel to India. After arriving in India, tourists have to produce the authorization letters to the immigration authorities for stamping.

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