PUNE: Visa on Arrival (VOA) scheme of the government continues to be popular with foreign tourists according to a statement issued by the government. VOA registered a growth of 22.6% during July, 2013 as compared to July, 2012. During the month, a total number of 1,154 VoAs were issued as compared to 941 during July, 2012.

During the period from January to July 2013, a total number of 10,482 VoAs were issued as compared to 7,662 VoAs during corresponding period of 2012 registering a growth of 36.8%. The number of VoAs issued under this scheme during July 2013 for nationals of the eleven countries were Japan (327), New Zealand (251), Indonesia (173), the Philippines (172), Singapore (149), Finland (44), Vietnam (14), Myanmar (8), Cambodia (8), Luxembourg (8) and Laos (0).

The number of VoAs issued under the Scheme during January to July 2013 were Japan (3,612), New Zealand (1,908), Indonesia (1,454), the Philippines (1,403), Singapore (1,163), Finland (603), Vietnam (110), Luxembourg (79) Cambodia (75), Myanmar (65)and Laos (10). During the period January to July 2013, the highest number of VoAs were issued at New Delhi (5,908) followed by Mumbai (2,250), Chennai (1,593) and Kolkata (731).

As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, government launched the “Visa on Arrival” (VoA) Scheme in January 2010 for citizens of five countries, viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, visiting India for tourism purposes. The Scheme was extended to the citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011.