MUMBAI: A growth of 23.8% has been recorded in the number of tourists availing the tourist visa on arrival (VoA) scheme during December 2013 as compared to the corresponding period of the year 2012.

A total number of 2,700 VoAs have been issued in December, 2013 as compared to 2,181 VoAs during the corresponding period of 2012.

During the period January to December 2013, a total number of 20,294 VoAs were issued as compared to 16,084 VoAs during the corresponding period of 2012, registering a growth of 26.2%.

The government launched the VoA scheme in January 2010 as a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India. The scheme is open to visitors from five countries, which include Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore. The Scheme was extended to the citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011.

The number of VoAs issued under this scheme during December 2013 for nationals of the eleven countries was Japan (744), New Zealand (619), Singapore (416), Indonesia (358), the Philippines (352), Finland (141), Vietnam (24), Cambodia (20), Luxembourg (19), Myanmar (5) and Laos (2).

The number of VoAs issued under the Scheme during January to December 2013 was Japan (6,448), New Zealand (3,968), the Philippines (2,967), Indonesia (2,758), Singapore (2,486), Finland (1,030), Vietnam (205), Myanmar (148), Luxembourg (145), Cambodia (120) and Laos (19).

During the period January to December 2013, the highest number of VoAs were issued at New Delhi airport (11,046) followed by Mumbai (4,206), Chennai (2,815), Kolkata (1,351), Bangalore (380), Kochi (229), Hyderabad (165) and Trivandrum (102).