India to roll out Visa on Arrival to 40 countries – Inviting tourists or desperate measures??
By Shivangi On 11 Oct, 2013 At 01:00 PM | Categorized As India, International, Need to Know | With 0 Comments
It’s a well known fact Indian tourism has been heavily affected since December last year for obvious reasons. There have always been stray instances of women, Indian and foreign, but this one really took the issue global.

What did we do?

The Tourism Ministry made badges that said, “I am Indian. I respect women.” That doesn’t seem to have made any difference

What are we doing now?

This has nothing to do with women’s empowerment or protection. We roll out Visas on Arrival (VoA) to 40 countries (currently only 11 countries are eligible for VoA), establishing an online application system for visas and facilitating visa on arrival for pensioners and those attending conferences.

“There has to be a change in mindset towards the way we treat foreign tourists. All representatives of government agreed on extending visa on arrival to 40 countries and initiating an online system as soon as possible.”

Rajeev Shukla, Planning Minister

So basically

- Citizens from 40 countries including the US, the UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Russia and China among others can avail visa on arrival after they land on Indian soil.

- Foreign tourists from other countries can apply for an Indian Visa from their homes without having to visit the Indian Embassy.

- VoA to be extended to foreign travelers above 60 years of age from all countries.

- Time taken to give visas to groups that are keen to attend conventions will reduced.

“We want to develop a world class visa regime. I am going to write to the home minister with the outcomes of the meeting aimed at liberalizing the visa regime.”

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman

The government is closely reviewing the online application systems adopted by Sri Lanka where only electronic visas are issued for tourists on short visits. Another suggestion was to bring down the number of categories of visas from the existing 16 to just three — employment, business and visitor.

The decisions were made during a high level meeting that included the national security advisor, Planning Comission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, representatives from the PMO, Intelligence Bureau, and ministries of external affairs, home and tourism.

Is this actually a sensible move to attract more tourists or a desperate effort disregarding very security concerns?


About - As the newest member of the content team, Shivangi Rajendran comes from the world of professional dancing. With a passion for travel and a flair for writing, the Masters in Mass Communication is just an added advantage. A gypsy at heart, she doesn’t believe in planning and is always ready to pack her bags and leave.

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