Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Steps taken by the Government to increase Tourist Arrivals into the country

As per the 2nd Tourism Satellite Account of India (TSA) 2009-10 and subsequent estimation, the contribution of tourism to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the years 2011-12 and 2012-13 were 6.76% and 6.88% respectively. 

The steps taken by the Ministry of Tourism to increase the arrival of tourists to India are:- 

(1) Launch of Tourist e-Visa for citizens of 44 countries. 

(2) Promotion of the destination through the Incredible India Campaign across the globe. 

(3) Participation in major International Tourism & Travel Fairs & Exhibitions. 

(4) Organising Road Shows to promote tourism destinations and products of country in major tourist source markets in collaboration with stake holders. 

(5) Development and promotion “Niche Tourism” products. 

(6) Creating an increased pool of trained man power in Hospitality & Tourism sectors for delivery of quality service to the tourist. 

(7) Organising International Buddhist Conclave once in 2 years to show case the Buddhist Heritage and International Tourism Mart for showcasing the tourism potential of North East being held every year. 

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to an unstarred question to the Lok Sabha. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

India has extended e-Tourist Visa scheme for Sri Lankan citizens

India has extended the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme for Sri Lankan citizens in keeping with a pledge made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Sri Lanka last month.

The Indian High Commission said the Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme has come into force with effect from April 14, 2015.

The new scheme, it is said will be in addition to the existing visa services. Sri Lankan nationals holding Diplomatic / Official passports cannot avail of the eTV scheme. Sri Lankan nationals of Pakistani origin cannot avail of the eTV scheme either.

The eTV can be utilized by all Sri Lankan Nationals holding ordinary passports whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit. The applicant should not have a residence or occupation in India. The applicant should hold a passport with at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India.

It may be noted that visa will not be issued on arrival without ETA. Applicants have to apply and obtain ETA online prior to undertaking travel to India. This process will take a minimum of 4 working days.

The eTV will be for single-entry, and valid for only 30 days stay from the date of arrival in India. The eTV will be non-extendable, non-convertible and not valid for visiting Protected /Restricted and Cantonment Areas. Entry into India must be through any of the following 9 designated airports only - Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. However, exit can be through any authorized Immigration Check Post (ICP) in India. Entry into India must be undertaken within 30 days from the date of approval of ETA. The eTV facility cannot be availed of more than twice in a calendar year.

The applicant should carry a printed copy of ETA along with him / her at the time of travel. He / she should have a return / onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.

Biometric details of the applicant will be captured at Immigration on arrival in India.

There is a special fee of US$ 60 per person (plus an interchange charge of US$ 2 for credit / debit cards) for the new scheme. This fee must be paid before the application can be processed, and once paid, the fee is non-refundable.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Govt Changes Name of Visa on Arrival Scheme to e-Tourist Visa

The newly-launched tourist visa on arrival scheme will be known as e-tourist visa from Wednesday with government making the change following requests from various quarters.
Home ministry officials said the name of the scheme—‘Tourist visa on arrival enabled by electronic travel authorisation (TVoA-ETA)’ was creating confusion among tourists. It presumes as if visa is being granted on arrival.
However, in the present system, the pre-authorization of visa is being given prior to arrival of foreigners. The ministry has also received requests of name change from some Indian embassies. A committee of officers from the ministries of home and external affairs and Bureau of Immigration was formed for coining a new name for the scheme.
Keeping in view the application process and purpose of the scheme, the committee suggested eTV as the appropriate name for the scheme. Government is also planning to extend the scheme to a few more countries and airports in phased manner in coming days that include the UK, France, Italy, Spain and China.
“In order to avoid further confusion, the home ministry has decided to change the name of the scheme from TVoA-ETA to e-Tourist Visa (eTV) before the extension of the scheme to more countries,” a home ministry official said.
Hence from 15 April, the scheme will be known by its new name e-Tourist Visa (eTV). The eTV enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation would enable the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian visa from his or her home country online without visiting the Indian mission and also pay the visa fee online.
Once approved, the applicant will receive an email authorising him or her to travel to India and he or she can travel with a print out of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.
Government had launched the TVoA-ETA on 27 November 2014 to 44 countries at 9 airports to facilitate short of duration international travellers. Since launched of the scheme on 27 November 2014, a total of 1,10,000 visas have been issued by the government under scheme.
During December 2014, a total of 14,083 tourist visa-on-arrival (TVoA) were issued as compared to 2,700 during December 2013, registering a growth of 421.6%. The percentage share of top 10 source countries for TVoA in India during December 2014 included US (24.26%), Russian Federation (15.06%), Republic of Korea (11.01%), Ukraine (8.16%), Australia (7.98%), New Zealand (5.08%), Japan (4.30%), Singapore (4.27%), Germany (4.05%) and the Philippines (3.10%).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tourist Visa on Arrival

India is a incredible country with miscellany in its cultures and religion. If you are thinking about your Holidays in india and spend sometime with your life partner during your Indian Holidays, you must go to see some of the beautiflul places, such as Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Golden Temple, Kerala, Kashmir, Goa, camel safari etc. India is simply magical and exotic country.
If you want to feel romantic with love, visit to Taj Mahal. You can see historical marvelous forts, temples other innumerable fascinating . Taj Mahal is surely a photographer's delight. The simple white monument metamorphoses every photograph into a colourful myriad of expressions. Other attractions of the city include the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.

Tourist Visa on Arrival facility for foreigners who want to travel an India. Government of India is approved 43 eligible countries get visa on arrval USA, Cook Island, Kingdom of Tonga,Tuvalu, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mauritius, Cambodia, Djibouti, Israel, Laos, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam, Germany, Jordan, Myanmar, Norway, Palestine, Russia, Singapore, Ukraine, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Island, Samoa, Niue, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. The details regarding the ETA enabled TVoA facility is enumerated below in succeeding paragraphs:-


1.Foreigner of the eligible countries applies online on our website
2.He/She can apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. Example: If you are applying on 25th Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 29th Sept to 28th Oct.
3.He/She uploads the photograph & Scanned First Page of Passport.
4.He/She Pays the TVoA Fee Online.
5.ETA containing his personal details, and arrival on or before day is sent on his/her given email address within 4 days 0 payment of TVoA fees. 6. Once ETA has been generated, he/she is now authorized to fly and must arrive within the "arrival on or before date' printed on the ETA.
7. Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is valid for entry through any of the 09 designated Airports i.e. Bangalore Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa,Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai Trivandrum only. However, the foreigner can exit authorized Immigration Check Posts in India.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Visit Kerala Initiative

The ‘Visit Kerala 2015’ Initiative of Kerala Tourism was launched by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma at a function organized in New Delhi today. The campaign, to promote tourism in the state, was rolled out with the launch of an array of innovative programmes ranging from Ayurveda to adventure trips, from destination weddings to heritage tourism, from food festivals to quiz competitions.

While inaugurating the ‘Visit Kerala Initiative’, Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that Kerala has a rich potential for tourism since it abounds in natural beauty and has picturesque backwaters. The Minister said that the people of Kerala are well known for their sincerity, dedication and hospitable nature which is an essential quality of the Indian culture. It is due to this reason that Kerala can become ‘a destination’ worldwide, he said.

The Union Ministry of Tourism has an international drive to showcase tourist destinations of the country which also includes Kerala, the Minister added. The Minister assured the officials of Kerala Government that the Central Government will give full support to the State of Kerala to enable it to promote tourism in India and abroad.

Dr. Mahesh Sharma emphasized that tourism should become a means to generate revenue, promote rich cultural heritage, employment and women empowerment. Security, cleanliness and hospitality can become the strengths for boosting tourism in the country, he said. The Cleanliness Drive launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has gained widespread popularity and it has also been taken up by the Ministry of Tourism and by the Ministry of Culture. Similarly, the States should make all efforts to provide a safe and secure environment to the visitors. He also requested the media to send out positive messages about the country to promote tourism.

In his message on the launch of ‘Visit Kerala Initiative’ the Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy said it is an ambitious initiative of the Kerala Government and he invited the people to visit Kerala during the Visit Kerala year 2015.

The Tourism Minister of Kerala state, Shri A.P. Anil Kumar, said that with the visa on arrival (VoA) facility at Kochi Airport there has been significant growth in the tourist arrivals. He said that Kerala has always given priority to the Tourism sector and is making efforts to promote the responsible tourism and encourage the participation of local communities in the tourism sector.

Addressing the gathering, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Sh Lalit Panwar congratulated the Kerala Government and its team for this initiative. He said that more efforts should be made to target the foreign visitors to Kerala.

Senior officials of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Ministry of Tourism of Kerala Government were also present during the launch.

As part of the campaign to showcase the state’s alluring destinations and products that justify its moniker as God’s Own Country’, Kerala Tourism will foray into new markets in China and Sri Lanka through trade fairs, road shows and familiarization tours. In addition, it will launch aggressive campaigns in traditional markets like the UK, France and Germany to woo potential travelers by holding trade fairs and road shows. Consumer fairs and familiarization trips will be introduced in upcoming markets like the USA.

Leveraging the increased air connectivity, a focused Ayurveda and monsoon campaign will be conducted in the Middle East where 90 per cent of the Indian diaspora is from Kerala. 

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during March 2015

Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on the basis of Nationality-wise, Port-wise data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism on the basis of data available from Reserve Bank of India. The following are the important highlights regarding FTAs and FEEs from tourism during the month of March 2015.

 Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):

FTAs during the Month of March 2015 were 7.30 lakh as compared to FTAs of 6.93 lakh during the month of March 2014 and 6.40 lakh in March 2013. There has been a growth of 5.3% in March 2015 over March 2014.

·           FTAs during the period January- March 2015 were 22.81 lakh with a growth of 3.2%, as compared to the FTAs of 22.10 lakh with a growth of 7.9% in January- March 2014 over January- March 2013.

·        The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during March 2015 among the top 15 source countries was highest from UK (12.52%) followed by               USA (12.35%), Bangladesh (12.28%), Sri Lanka (4.40%), Germany (4.28%),            Canada (3.39%), Malaysia (3.26%), France (3.24%), Japan (2.71%), Australia (2.67%), Thailand (2.67%), China (2.55%), Russian Fed. (2.31%), Singapore (1.70%) and Afghanistan (1.58%). These top 15 countries accounts for 71.91% of total FTAs during March 2015.

·         The Percentage share of  Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during March 2015 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (32.4%) followed by Mumbai Airport (16.7%), Chennai Airport (7.8%),  Haridaspur Land check post (6.7%), Bengaluru Airport (5.6%), Cochin Airport (4.0%), Kolkata Airport (3.8%),Goa Airport (3.3%), Sonauli Land Check post (3.2%),Hyderabad Airport (2.6%), Amritsar Airport (1.7%), Trivandrum Airport (1.5%),Ahmedabad Airport (1.4%),Gede Rail (1.4%) and Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.2%).  These top 15 ports accounts for 93.3% of total FTAs during March 2015.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in India in rupee terms and in US$ terms

FEEs during the month of March 2015 were Rs.10,451 crore as compared to Rs.10,152 crore in March  2014 and Rs. 9,545 crore in March 2013.

The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during March 2015 over March 2014 was 2.9%.
FEEs from tourism in rupee terms in January- March 2015 were Rs. 33,036 crore with a growth of 1.7% as compared to the FEE of  Rs. 32,473 during January- March 2014.

FEEs in US$ terms during the month of March 2015 were US$ 1.674 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.662 billion during the month of March  2014.
The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in March 2015 over March 2014 was 0.7% compared to a decline of 5.3% in March 2014 over March 2013.
FEEs from tourism in US$ terms during January- March 2015 were US$ 5.310 billion with  a growth of 1.1% as compared to the US$ 5.253 billion with a decline of 6.9% during January- March  2014 over January- March 2013.

USA accounts for highest percentage of ETA enabled TVoA in March 2015

Government of India launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) on 27th November 2014 for 43 countries. The Government extended this Scheme to the citizens of Guyana in January, 2015. The following are the important highlights of tourists arrived by ETA enabled TVoA during March, 2015:

(i) During the month of March 2015, a total of 25,851 tourist arrived by ETA enabled TVoA as compared to 1,958 TVoA during the month of March 2014, registering a growth of 1220.3%.

(ii) During January- March 2015, a total of 75,859 tourist arrived by ETA enabled TVoA as compared to 5,841 TVoA during January- March 2014, registering a growth of 1198.7%.

(iii) This high growth may be attributed to introduction of ETA enabled TVoA for 44 countries as against coverage of earlier TVoA scheme for 12 countries only.

(iv) The percentage share of top 10 source countries for ETA enabled TVoA, in India during March 2015, were as follows: USA (33.25%), Germany (14.64%), Russian Federation (13.13%), Australia (8.37%), Republic of Korea (6.39%), Ukraine (4.21%), Mexico (2.93%), Japan (1.99%), New Zealand (1.91%) and Israel (1.68%) .

(v) The percentage shares of different ports for ETA enabled TVoA, in India during March 2015, were as follows:

New Delhi (47.32%), Mumbai (18.55%), Goa (12.03%), Bengaluru (6.27%), Chennai (5.60%), Hyderabad (2.93%), Kolkata (2.78%), Kochi (2.68%) and Trivandrum (1.84%).