Extension of E-Visa to Boost Tourism
The Government of India has launched e-Tourist Visa on 27.11.2014 with a view to facilitate foreign tourist visiting India. Initially, the scheme was introduced for 43 countries. However, the scheme has since been extended to 150 countries. A list of these countries is attached as Annexure-I. The visa service under the scheme is being rendered in time bound manner and decision is communicated to applicant via e-mail within 72 hours of making online application.
The e-Tourist Visa has simplified the procedure for seeking India visa for international tourists. The e-Tourist Visa enables the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country online without visiting the Indian Mission and also pay the visa fee online.
As a result, the year 2015 witnessed a growth rate of 4.5% in terms of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India. During 2015, FTAs were 8.03 million as compared to 7.68 million in 2014. FTAs during the period January-March 2016 were 25.08 lakh with a growth of 10.0% as compared to the FTAs of 22.81 lakh in January-March 2015. The foreign exchange earnings during January – December 2015 was Rs.135193 crore as compared to Rs.123320 crore during 2014 thereby registering the growth of 9.6%.
The e-Tourist Visa has been extended to 150 countries w.e.f. 26.02.2016. During January-December 2015 a total of 4,45,300 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 39,046 during January-December 2014 registering a growth of 1040.4%. During the month of January-March 2016, a total of 3,21,049 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 75,859 during the month of January-March 2015 registering a growth of 323.2%.
|Sr. No.||Name of Country||Serial.No||Name of Country|
|4.||Antigua & Barbuda||48.||Grenada|
|14.||Bosnia & Herzegovina||58.||Israel|
|25.||China- SAR Hongkong||69.||Lithuania|
|26.||China- SAR Macau||70.||Luxembourg|
|31.||Cote d’lvoire||75.||Marshall Islands|
|Finland||139.||Vatican City-Holy See|
|97.||Papua New Guinea||147.||Zambia|
|103.||Republic of Korea|
|104.||Republic of Macedonia|
|107.||Saint Christopher and Nevis|
|109.||Saint Vincent & the Grenadines|
|131.||Trinidad & Tobago|
|132.||Turks & Caicos Island|
This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.