New Delhi: The Visa on Arrival scheme, launched two years back to boost tourist traffic from abroad, seems to have served its purpose with 1259 foreigners visiting the country in February as against 1026 during the same period last year, recording a growth of 22.7 percent.
The VoA scheme is currently available for 12 countries including New Zealand, Phillipines, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Finland.
The total number of 1259 foreigners availing VoA scheme in February does not include Indonesian nationals as the data on arrivals from that country have not been collected yet, a senior Tourism Ministry official said.
In February this year, a total of 6.77 lakh foreign tourists visited the country, 41,000 more than the tourist traffic received during the corresponding period last year.
During the period between Januarya and February 2012, the maximum number of VoAs were issued at Delhi airport (1504), followed by Mumbai (635), Chennai (317) and Kolkata (162).
The Ministry has sought Home Ministry's approval for allowing the VoA facility at other international airports as well.
As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India during the Commonwealth Games, government launched VoA scheme from January 2010 for citizens of five countries - Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, visiting India for tourism purposes.
Then the scheme was extended for the citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos and Myanmar from January 2011.
First Published: Friday, March 09, 2012, 18:58