New Delhi: Aiming at increasing foreign tourist arrivals, government today said a proposal to extend Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility to visitors from Germany is being considered.
"A proposal to extend Visa on Arrival facility to the tourists from Germany is under active consideration of the Government of the India," Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi said while inaugurating India pavilion at International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin.
He said Germany is an important market for India.
"During the year 2011, over 24,000 German tourists visited India and we are looking forward to further increasing the tourist traffic between the two countries," he said.
Earlier on March 1, Chiranjeevi had met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and submitted a proposal seeking extension of VoA facilities for 16 countries including Germany.
The Minister said foreign tourist arrivals to India constitute only 0.64 per cent of the World Tourist Arrivals and foreign exchange earnings account for 1.61 per cent of the World Tourism Receipts.
"This is a matter of concern for all of us in the Ministry. Our endeavour is to increase India`s share to 1 per cent of the World Tourist Arrivals by 2016," he said.
Currently, VoA facility is available for tourists from 11 countries including Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines.
VoA is useful for attracting potential tourists in key markets and at times also useful for people who make decisions at the last moment.
There were total 16,084 foreign tourists who had availed the VoA facility in 2012 as against 12,761 in 2011.
Chiranjeevi said India has evolved as a round-the-year destination.
"Our effort is to consolidate our well-developed cultural and heritage products and develop new niche products like rural tourism; wellness and medical tourism; adventure and wildlife tourism; film tourism; monsoon tourism; golf, polo and sports tourism," he said.
The Tourism Minister said along with being committed to the growth of tourism, his ministry was aware about the issues of cleanliness, hygiene and sustainability.
Tourism Ministry has launched `Campaign Clean India` to sensitise the masses about keeping Indian destinations clean.