India extends e-visa facility to 165 nations

Government of India will issue e-visas from 25 airports and five seaports; The move is expected to considerably increase foreign tourist arrivals that recorded a nearly 16 per cent year-on-year jump in 2017

August 6, 2018

Expansion of e-visa provision will increase foreign tourist arrival (FTA) to India, which had jumped to 10.2 million in 2017, driven partly by the provision of e-visas

The increase in FTA has been aided by India’s improving stand across a variety of fields, including leisure tourism, medicine, education, trade and investment

The e-visa initiative is part of the “Incredible India 2.0” campaign, which has graduated tourism promotion to market-specific campaigning from generic advocacy

The move comes as India’s forex earnings from tourism is being anticipated to rise to around US$110 billion by 2025, from around US$26.2 billion in 2017

Government of India will extend e-visa facility to visitors from 165 nations, according to media reports on August 6, citing an official statement. The e-visas will be offered from 25 airports and five seaports. The move will increase foreign tourist arrival (FTA) to India, which had recorded a nearly 16 per cent year-on-year jump in 2017 to 10.2 million. One of the key factors encouraging the steady rise in FTAs has been the provision of e-visas. The increase has been aided by India’s improving stand across a variety of fields, including leisure tourism, medicine, education, trade and investment. As a result, the total foreign exchange earnings through tourism in 2017 was US$26.2 billion.

The e-visa initiative comes as part of the Government’s “Incredible India 2.0” campaign, which has graduated tourism promotion to market-specific campaigning from generic advocacy. The Ministry of Tourism has sought to promote the country’s ancient heritage as well as modern strengths in order to pitch India as a “must revisit, must experience” destination to the international audience. To aid incoming foreign tourists, authorities have also set up a multi-lingual 24*7 helpline. The Indian Government’s efforts that include incentivising private investments are aimed at achieving 1 per cent share of the world’s international tourist arrivals by 2020 and 2 per cent share by 2025.

This increase in FTA has continued in 2018, with FTAs into India rising by 8 per cent during the first half of the year to 5.2 million. Tourism forms a major part of the Indian Government’s initiative to drive indigenous entrepreneurship, attract foreign investment and strengthen the nation’s soft powers. This effort has been supported by India’s vast riches that include 36 world heritage sites, 10 bio-geographical zones and 26 biotic provinces, among many other attributes. India is currently the seventh largest market in the global tourism industry. The measures come at a time when India’s forex earnings from tourism is being anticipated to rise to around US$110 billion by 2025.