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Government plans to provide SIM cards to e-tourist visa holders on entry

Government Plans To Provide SIM Cards To E-tourist Visa Holders On Entry

Tourists landing in India with an e-tourist visa, will soon get a gift kit on entering the country, consisting of a SIM card among other things, reports the Tribune1. The SIM card will be handed over on arrival, although tourists will have to first recharge it to make use of it. Other than this, the kit will also contain maps, booklets and a CD with information about various tourist destinations, guidelines for do s & don ts, emergency contacts and other useful material. The initiative will currently cover only tourists arriving on e-tourist visa s, with plans to extend it to other visa categories eventually.

Growth in e-tourist visa s: In October 2015, a total of 56,477 e-Tourist Visa were issued2 compared to 2,705 during the month of October 2014, registering a growth of 1987.9% year on year. The government attributed the high growth rate to introduction of e-Tourist Visa for 113 countries as against coverage of earlier Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme for 12 countries.

During January-October, 2015 a total of 2,58,182 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 21,995 during January-October, 2014 registering a growth of 1073.8%. The top countries applying for these Visas included UK, USA, France, Germany, Australia and Canada. The Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme was launched by the Government in November 2014.

MediaNama s take: This initiative should make life for tourists easier. To get a SIM, consumers usually need to submit an ID proof and fill forms etc., which can be worked around as tourists using the e-Visa, already fill their details online. With number portability getting common, it should easy to switch carriers in case they want to get other plans.

Overall, it will save tourists the hassle of getting a new SIM card in a foreign country.

Image source: Flickr user Baigal Byamba.3 CC license4.

References

  1. ^ Tribune (www.tribuneindia.com)
  2. ^ 56,477 e-Tourist Visa were issued (www.medianama.com)
  3. ^ Go to Baigal Byamba’s photostream (www.flickr.com)
  4. ^ CC license (creativecommons.org)

E-Tourist visa issuances surge to 56,477 in October compared to 2,705 last year

E-Tourist Visa Issuances Surge To 56,477 In October Compared To 2,705 Last Year

During the month of October, a total of 56,477 e-Tourist Visa were issued compared to 2,705 during the month of October, 2014 registering a growth of 1987.9%. The government attributed the high growth rate to introduction of e-Tourist Visa for 113 countries as against coverage of earlier Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme for 12 countries. During January-October, 2015 a total of 2,58,182 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 21,995 during January-October, 2014 registering a growth of 1073.8% , the government said in a release1. The top 10 countries availing the e-Tourist Visa facilities during October, 2015 were UK (22.80%), USA (16.70%), France (7.09%), Germany (7.02%), Australia (5.53%), Canada (4.39%), Russian Federation. (3.99%), China (2.93%), Ukraine (2.14%) and Spain (2.11%).

The percentage shares of different ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during October, 2015 were New Delhi Airport (50.93%), Mumbai Airport (20.54%), Bengaluru Airport (5.90%), Chennai Airport (5.61%), Goa Airport (4.39%). Government of India launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme on 27th November 2014. At present e-Tourist Visa facility is available for citizens of 113 countries arriving at 16 Airports in India. e-Tourist Visa fee structure has been revised with effect from 3rd November 2015 by clubbing the 113 countries into 4 groups for charging differential rates. Bank charges have also been reduced from $2 to 2.5% of the e-Tourist Visa fees.

Past developments:

The government issued 15,557 e-tourist visas in the month of June 2015 registering a growth of 636.6% compared to 2,112 visas it issued in June 2014. The government attributed the high growth in e-tourist visas to the extension of the facility to 76 countries as opposed to the earlier coverage of 12 countries. During January-June, 2015 a total of 1,26,214 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 11,953 during January-June, 2014 registering a growth of 955.9%2

In June 2015, the government added 31 more countries which could get e-tourist visas and added 9 more airports (Jaipur, Amritsar, Gaya, Lucknow, Trichy, Varanasi and Ahmedabad) to issue the facility.

The airports have been chosen due to the large number of foreign tourists they receive on account of their proximity to major tourist spots.

References

  1. ^ release (pib.nic.in)
  2. ^ issued (www.medianama.com)