New visa scheme to boost India’s inbound tourism
The Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) announced by the Indian government in February 2014 is
expected to make travelling a lot more easier for inbound visitors.
The ETA scheme is expected to launch in the next one year, along with a tourism infoline in 12 different languages. “During the past year, India had considerably relaxed its visa regime and expanded the Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) scheme. As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, the government has launched the VoA scheme in January 2010 for citizens of five countries, viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore. The scheme was extended to the citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011,” said Parvez Dewan, secretary at the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) on the sidelines of the Incredible India Travel Bazar (IITB) in New Delhi.
The IITB retains exclusive focus on inbound travel and has drawn 247 Foreign Tour Operators this year. The buyers will engage in B2B interactions with 246 Indian sellers in 9,000 structured pre-fixed meetings.
“India is no longer a November to March destination, it is a round-the-year experience, its summer destinations are incredible, it is home to 73% of the Himalayas and its modern hospitals provide second-to-none treatment at a tenth of the cost in USA,”added Dewan.
The new ETA scheme will be extended to all the countries except eight countries of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nigeria.