New Delhi, June 20 :
The foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India registered a growth of 9.7 percent in an year, and the Visa on Arrival (VoA) grew by 19.1 percent compared to last year, a statement from the tourism ministry said Friday.
“FTAs during May 2014 were 4.21 lakh as compared to FTAs of 3.84 lakh during May 2013 and 3.74 lakh in May 2012,” a ministry statement said.
“There has been a growth of 9.7 percent in May 2014 over May 2013 as compared to a growth of 2.5 percent registered in May 2013 over May 2012,” it added.
As many as 30.52 lakh foreigners visited India between January and May 2014 compared to 28.63 lakh visitors in the same period last year, registering growth of 6.6 percent.
This spurt in tourism can be attributed to the government’s move to extend VoA facility to 180 countries and barring eight countries from this service.
These eight countries – Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia – are categorised as sensitive countries.
“In May, 1,833 VoAs were issued as compared to 1,114 VoAs during the month of May 2013, registering a growth of 64.5 percent,” said a statement.
“During January-May, a total number of 9,841 VoAs were issued as compared to 8,266 VoA during the corresponding period of 2013 registering a growth of 19.1 percent,” it added.
The Japanese took maximum advantage of this service during the month of January-May with 2,303 tourists visiting India, followed by 1,866 New Zealand tourists, and then the Philippines (1,461), Indonesia (1,375), Singapore (1,315), South Korea (562), Finland (549), Myanmar (190), Vietnam (96), Luxembourg (61), Cambodia (58) and Laos (5).