INDIA may soon grant travellers from 16 more countries visas on arrival (VoAs) if the Ministry of Tourism’s request to the Ministry of Home Affairs gains approval.
The countries recommended are Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Brazil, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, while South Korea will also be considered at a later date.
In addition, the tourism ministry wants six more airports at Bengaluru, Goa, Kochi, Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Bodhgaya to be allowed to issue VoAs. Currently, India offers 30-day VoAs to citizens of Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, Japan, Finland, New Zealand and Luxembourg arriving at New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.
Khadidiatou Thiam Galant, chief of agency, Voyages en Direct France, said: “VoAs open up India as a destination that our clients can travel to at short notice, as French tourists are used to flying without visas to many countries and prefer such freedom.”
Vasco Noronha, head – inbound operations, Akbar Holidays India, said: “We can expect to see a deluge from Europe, (former Soviet) countries and ASEAN. Making VoAs available at 10 Indian airports will be a huge boon for inbound tourism.”