Wednesday, March 06, 2013

'Tourist Visa On Arrival' To Boost Tourism In India

Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVOA) scheme should have a significant and positive impact on the decision to travel to India. Union Tourism Minister K.Chiranjeevi met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and submitted a proposal to extend Visa-on-arrivals to 16 countries. 
The ministry of tourism strongly felt that the "Tourist Visa - on - Arrival (TVOA)" facility for those countries, which are potential source markets to India and where there have been no security related issues in the past or likely to be in future can be taken up under this scheme. 
Accordingly, the ministry of Home Affairs accepted the proposal of the ministry of tourism and introduced "Tourist Visa - on - Arrival (TVOA)" scheme for the tourists from five countries viz. Singapore, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Japan & Finland on a pilot basis for a period of one year w.e.f. 01st January 2010. 
The TVOA scheme was extended by the ministry of Home Affairs on an experimental basis for one year for the nationals of six more countries - Cambodia,Vietnam,Laos, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar arriving at the airports of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, with effect from 1st January 2011.Thus, the Tourist Visa - on - Arrival with a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility is being granted by Immigration Officers at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata airports to the citizens of eleven countries - Singapore, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Japan, Finland, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar. 
An independent study conducted by the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) has noted that TVOA scheme has a significant and positive impact on the decision to travel to India. This scheme needs to be expanded to cover more countries and more ports of entry. The ministry of tourism had proposed extension of TVOA to the following markets: 

(i) Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Sweden and Norway to cover the European and Scandinavian countries which are key inbound markets. 
(ii) Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to cover the emerging markets from the CIS countries. 
(iii) Brazil and South Africa to cover foster IBSA Cooperation and Trinidad & Tobago to foster our historical links. 
(iv) Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei to cover all the ASEAN countries which will be consistent with our look east policy. 
The ministry of tourism had also proposed extension of TVOA to more airports namely Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Goa,Bodhgaya and Trivandrum. 
Visa on Arrival is an attraction for potential tourists in key markets and at times also helps in tapping the people who make decisions at the last moment. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is considering this issue of extending TVOA to the 16 countries proposed by MOT earlier. 
Keeping in view the recent travel trends, the ministry of tourism now also proposes TVOA scheme for South Korea, which is a very important tourist generating market.

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