India’s tourist numbers soar after introduction of e-visa

Pic: travel photography/flickr

INDIA’S eTV visa-on-arrival implemented in April last year has resulted in a significant rise in inbound tourist numbers.

In September alone, a total of 68,809 tourists arrived in the country compared to the 31,729 that entered in September 2015, marking a growth of just under 117 percent.

Before the introduction of the e-visa, foreign visitors were required to pop into their respective Indian embassies, which oftentimes prove to be a hassle.

At present time, the e-visa has been made possible to citizens of 150 countries across 16 international airports in India.

The visas are valid for a single entry for 30 days upon arrival, and a maximum of two e-visas can be approved within the span of 12 months.

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In other news, India’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma is taking steps to boost Japan-involved tourism in the country.

“A lot of Indians visit Japan. Similarly, a lot of Japanese tourists come to India, but we need to increase Japan-involved tourism,” the minister said.

“We value our relations with Japan. We specially invite our Japanese friends to come here and participate in helping us create a new hotel industry. We are still short of 2,90,040 rooms. We need to have investment and participation for development of tourism in the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu said, “India is growing in the field of economy. I see a huge potential. The number can increase to five times of the previous year’s figures.”

Suman Billa, joint secretary in India’s Ministry of Tourism pointed out that many Indians still view Japan as being an “expensive country”.

Sharing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sentiment, Sharma believes in the effect of tourism to the betterment of India: “Tourism can increase the scope of everything, be it employment generation, agriculture, or women empowerment.”

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