New Delhi: Over 4,000 foreigners from 11 countries used the tourist visa on arrival facility in the first four months of this year, with the maximum numbers hailing from New Zealand, Japan and the Philippines, the tourism ministry said Tuesday.
The highest number of visas on arrival (VoAs) were issued to New Zealand citizens (946), followed by Japan (777), the Philippines (623), Singapore (596), Indonesia (551) and Finland (516). Other country-nationals who availed the facility were from Cambodia (49), Vietnam (32), Luxembourg (25), Myanmar (23) and Laos (1).
According to the tourism ministry, in April alone, a total of 1,234 foreigners came to India as compared to 1,089 in March.
Indonesia topped the list in April with 255 people, followed by New Zealanders at 241. Others were from the Philippines (231), Japan (194), Singapore (165), Finland (105), Vietnam (13), Myanmar (12), Luxembourg (11) and Cambodia (7).
"During the period January-April, a total number of 4,139 VoAs on arrival were issued," the ministry said.
The official said the maximum number of visas were issued at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here. As many as 2,228 visas were issued at the Delhi airport, followed by Mumbai (1,009), Chennai (684) and Kolkata (218).
In 2010, over 6,500 foreigners used the scheme to visit India.
The scheme was first introduced Jan 1, 2010 for citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore. Following a good response, the government extended it to six more countries -- Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar -- from January 2011.
India introduced the scheme in its bid to promote tourism and facilitate the visits of foreigners who plan their visits at a short notice.