Saturday, December 12, 2009

Visitors from 5 selected nations can avail Visa-on-arrival

India has announced visa-on-arrival (VoA) for five countries as part of its campaign to promote the 2010 Commonwealth Games it is hosting.

India's Home Ministry has approved the VoA facility to citizens from Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore.

The Tourism Ministry said in a statement the VoA scheme was introduced for tourists coming from these countries which were "considered potential source markets and where there were no security concerns".

"The decision to provide the VoA facility has sent a positive message about the intention of our country to welcome foreign tourists and also signals a sense of self confidence in the security systems of the country," said Tourism Minister Kumari Selja.

The introduction of the VoA scheme is expected to provide a quantum jump in foreign tourist arrivals to India from these source markets in the future.

This in turn would also provide a boost to India's civil aviation sector, as the airports would enjoy an increase in air traffic, she added.

To be introduced on a pilot project basis, the visa-free facility would last for a year and is scheduled to begin next month.

More than 150,000 Malaysian tourists visit India annually, making Malaysia India's largest source country in the Southeast Asian region.

Malaysia is also expected to send a large contingent to the Commonwealth Games scheduled from Oct 3 to 14, 2010.