The Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), presently known as e-Tourist Visa scheme, registered an increase of 893 per cent year-on-year with the total of 1,69,976 tourists during January-Aug 2015. In the month of August 2015 alone, around 22,286 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 2,705 during the month of August, 2014 registering a growth of 724 per cent. According to experts, the e-Tourist Visa scheme has already played an important role in boosting the number of tourists coming to India and is expected to further improve the numbers in coming months.
It is important to note here that the e-Tourist Visa scheme is currently available to around 113 countries as against coverage of earlier TVoA scheme for 12 countries. In fact, increasing the number of countries for this scheme is one of the most critical factors for this high growth. With USA leading the pack at 26 per cent, other countries like Germany (10 per cent), UAE (9 per cent) France (8.8 per cent) and Australia (7.2 per cent) form the top five countries availing e-Tourist Visa facility during August 2015. In terms of the percentage shares of different ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during August 2015, New Delhi with a 42.67 per cent share was followed by Mumbai (23.40 per cent) Bengaluru (10.37 per cent), Chennai (9.07 per cent) and Kochi (5.44 per cent) as the top five leading arrival points.
Around 36 countries and seven airports were added to this facility on August 15, 2015. According to market reports, the list of countries included under the e-Tourist Visa scheme will be further increased in the coming months. The rich Indian culture, tradition and values along with a vibrant business community will to continue to attract both leisure and business traveller to the country and the e-Tourist Visa scheme is expected to continue act as a facilitator for the international traveller.