THE Ministry of Home Affairs is arranging to offer US tourists visas on arrival (VoA) and an official announcement is likely to be made during prime minister Narendra Modi's US visit on September 26.
Sources inside the Ministry of Tourism also told TTG Asia e-Daily that the new facility, valid for 30 days, will be offered to US citizens who do not have a residence or occupation in India, whose sole objective of visiting is either leisure or visiting friends and relatives.
Prashant Narayan, COO and head, leisure travel, inbound business, Thomas Cook India, said: “Currently, the US contributes to around 12 per cent of inbound traffic to the country…this facility is certainly expected to add great impetus to US arrival figures, leading to an impressive uptick in inbound traffic.
“Such initiatives are vital towards building critical mass momentum and infusing much-needed demand into the under-leveraged inbound sector.”
Ranjan Kumar Mishra, managing director of Eastern Voyage Odisha, commented: “The US is the number one source market for inbound tourism to India and it should have been on the list of countries that are offered VoA earlier.”
India began introducing VoAs for five countries in 2010, and currently offers it to 11 nations.