The Tourism sector of Indian economy is at present experiencing a huge growth. The Tourism sector of Indian economy has become one of the major industrial sectors under the Indian economy. The tourism industry earns foreign exchanges worth 21,828 crore. Previous year the growth rate of the tourism sector of Indian economy was recorded as 17.3%.
For any country to boost its tourism sector, it has to bring in changes which are tourist (traveller) friendly and promise positive sentiments. With the NDA Government making changes in the tourist visa policy, growth in tourism was expected.
On 27 November 2014, the NDA Government had introduced a new visa facility whereby travellers from eligible countries could obtain a visa to visit India online rather than having to visit the Indian embassy to obtain the same. Known as the e-tourist visa (eTV) policy, it was extended to travellers from 150 countries with a fee structure ranging from USD 0 to USD 60 and reduced bank charges to 2.5 percent of the e-tourist visa.
Over 66,000 travellers arrived in India on e-tourist visa in August this year, recording a growth of about 197 per cent over the same period last year.
The change in policy for tourist visas has given the much required boost to the tourism industry in India.
Many countries have availed of the e-tourist visa facility with the UK occupying the top slot. The US and China followed behind. The information was given out by the Union Tourism Ministry.
According to the data released by the Union Tourism Ministry- During the month of August, 2016 a total of 66,097 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 22,286 during the month of August, 2015 registering a growth of 196.6 per cent.
And during January-August this year, a total of 6,06,493 tourist arrived on e-tourist visa as compared to 1,69,976 during the corresponding period last year, witnessing a growth of 256.8 per cent.
The growth in the tourism industry is due to the rise in the arrival of more and more foreign tourists and the increase in the number of domestic tourists- which can be attributed to the introduction of e-tourist visa for 150 countries as against the earlier 113 countries. Tourists from Africa, Australia, Lain America, Europe, Southeast Asia, etc. are visiting India and there are growing by the thousands every year.
Among the top 10 source countries availing the facility in August, the UK share was maximum with 19.4 per cent, followed by the US (13.2 per cent), China (6.7 per cent), France (6.4 per cent), Spain (6.1 per cent), UAE (5.5 per cent).
The share of Germany was 4.6 per cent, while that of Australia 3.7 per cent, Canada 3.5 per cent and Korea 2.4 per cent.
Tourism not only generates revenue for the country, but also provides employment to scores of people. The NDA Government is working in the right direction to boost tourism and their plan of action to do so seems promising too. Such changes in the visa tourist policy were required big time; it has given a new hope to the once falling tourism industry.
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