The UK was the largest market for India’s e-tourist visa scheme in August 2016, continuing the strong demand experience since the system was extended to British travellers a year ago.
Figures released by India Tourism’s London office this week reveal that nearly a quarter of all Indian e-tourist visas issued in the last year (197,788 out of 881,817) have gone to British citizens.
In August 2016 alone, the UK ranked as the top market for Indian e-tourist visas, ahead of the US, China and France.
India has long been a popular destination for British holidaymakers, with 870,000 UK nationals visiting the country last year. And the launch of the e-tourist visa system for British travellers in August 2015 has made the process of travelling to India easier.
Raj Sunani, assistant director at India Tourism’s London office, explained:
“Until August last year, British visitors had to go through a process of booking an appointment and presenting relevant documentation at visa processing centres, a relatively long process. Now, the India e-tourist visa scheme has vastly simplified travel to India and is a proven success. The scheme is expected to boost UK tourist arrivals to India, assisting in India Tourism’s aim to attract one million UK visitors to the country.”
Having already been in place for a handful of countries, including Singapore, Finland and Luxembourg, the Indian e-tourist visa system was significantly expanded in November 2014 to encompass 77 countries. In August 2015, it was widened further to 113 countries, including the UK.
Travellers to India who hold an e-tourist visa can travel to India up to twice in a calendar year, as long as they enter through one of 16 designated international airports.