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Visa on Arrival on the anvil for 18 countries

Visa on Arrival on the anvil for 18 countries

MoT working closely with MHA to permit Visa on Arrival

By Kanika Mehta | New Delhi
The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is working at obtaining Visa on Arrival for 18 countries and is currently in deliberations with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the same. This is a first-time initiative by the MoT to relax the visa process with the main objective of increasing tourism prospects in the country.

These 18 countries have already received long-term visa permission with multiple entry facility and validity for five years. The long-term visa was granted by the MoT earlier to encourage tourism prospects between these nations.

Talking to TravelBiz Monitor, Sanjay Kothari, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism mentioned, “The Ministry is working at obtaining Visa on Arrival for the nations which have already been granted the long-term visa facility. We are currently in talks with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to get the approval for the same. Our objective is to achieve some kind of relaxation in the Visa process and give the tourism segment a boost.”

He further maintained that though MoT is primarily looking forward for Visa on Arrival for these 18 countries, but if the Home Ministry decides to grant long-duration visas for more countries or Visa on Arrival scheme for other countries, then it would be a welcome move. “The goal is to increase tourism receipts and flow of tourists. With relaxations like this, the whole procedure of traveling becomes easier and smoother. The `Incredible India’ campaign will also be supported by this move. We will be able to lure more inbound tourists to the country and hence increase revenue generated through tourism,” added Kothari.
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Inbound tourists in India nearly touched the five million mark in 2007, as compared to the 4.45 million inbound tourists in 2006 registering a growth of over 12 per cent. With the proposed move, MoT is expecting a growth in arrivals.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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