Panaji: The Centre has extended the visa-on-arrival facility at the Goa airport for tourists from 43 countries, which is expected to bring in 15 per cent growth in tourism during the ongoing season.
Goa's Dabolim airport is among one of the nine places that has extended this facility, which will further improve the prospects of its tourism growth, state tourism minister Dilip Parulekar told reporters here yesterday.
The cities where VoA (visa-on-arrival) will be issued include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
The countries included in the list are - Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshal Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu and Vietnam, he said.
The single-entry tourist visa will be valid for 30 days, the minister said.
The state government had been?pursuing the issue of VoA and e-visa with the Central government for over two years, he said.
"We are very happy to announce that the facilities have finally been launched and extended to 43 countries effectively from yesterday," Parulekar said.
"This facility will enable tourists from the 43 countries enlisted for the benefit to apply and procure the visa within 96 hours with a validity of 30 days, which is extendable subject to approval from the respective embassies," he said.
He mooted the need for aggressive marketing in these countries in order to ensure that travel agencies and tourists are made aware of the facility and to encourage foreign visitors to avail it.
Goa tourism department is confident that the launch of VoA will increase foreign tourist arrivals from 12 to 15 per cent annually.
"Within the next four years, we could see the arrivals doubling from five lakh to one million," Parulekar said.