New Delhi: Over 6500 foreigners availed the
Visa on Arrival scheme last year when it was introduced by the
Government in a bid to promote tourism and facilitate bonafide
foreign tourists who plan their visits at a short notice.
The VoA scheme was introduced on January 1, 2010 for
citizens of five countries - Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New
Zealand and Singapore.
A total of 6,549 foreign visitors availed the scheme in
2010, according to Tourism Ministry data.
While maximum tourists from New Zealand (1944) availed
the scheme followed by Singapore (1814) and Japan (1457),
response from Luxembourg (71) was minimum in 2010.
In December, 2010, total number of VoAs issued were 905
with country-wise breakup as Finland (140), Japan (216), New
Zealand (340), Singapore (191) and Luxemburg (18). Government
has now extended the VoA scheme for four more countries -
Cambodia, Laos, Vitenam and Philippines.
There were as many as 5.58 million foreign tourist
arrivals in India during 2010 with a growth rate of 9.3 per
cent as compared to 5.11 million during 2009.
Foreign exchange earnings from tourism during 2010 were
USD 14,193 million as compared to USD 11,394 million during
2009 and USD 11,747 million during 2008.
During the year 2010 the maximum number of VoAs were
issued at Delhi airport (3493), followed by Mumbai (1511),
Chennai (1211) and Kolkata (334).