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Visa-on-arrival limited to 9 nations
Published on 24 Aug. 2009 12:18 AM IST
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Tourism ministry has proposed visa-on-arrival to tourists from nine countries, including Japan, Germany, South Africa and Brazil. The proposal aims to improve tourist inflows from foreign countries that has come down following a slowdown in the world economy. “After evaluating security concerns, we have requested home ministry to provide visa-on-arrival to tourists for a fresh batch of nine countries,” a tourism ministry official who did not wish to be identified said. The other countries in the list include Cambodia, the Netherlands, Finland, Argentina and Laos. Earlier, the tourism ministry had proposed to give visa-on-arrival to the nationals of 18 countries . The home ministry rejected the proposal on security grounds. According to Economic Times report, the government currently grants multiple entry long-term visa of five years to the nationals of 18 countries. Some of the countries which enjoy multiple-entry long term visa are Spain, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Vietnam. “The new initiative is a continuation of the process started earlier. Some of the countries such as Sri Lanka and Thailand give visa-on-arrival facility to tourists from various countries and it has helped them increase foreign tourist inflow,” the official said. Foreign tourist arrival into the country started falling November last year owing to the global slowdown. The month of July has, however, shown a marginal improvement. The government has taken a lot of initiatives such as free air passage to companions of foreign tourists and extended stay at hotels to boost the number of visitors. The tourism ministry has organised roadshows in various countries including the UK, Canada and Singapore to promote its campaign Visit India 2009. Along with various industry stakeholders like hoteliers, tour operators and airlines, the ministry has launched various promotional offers to foreign tourists.

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