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December 17, 2009

India to issue visa-on-arrival

     New Delhi: Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja has said that the Centre has decided to introduce visa-on-arrival scheme for tourists from five countries including Singapore, Finland, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Japan on a pilot basis for a period of one year. Kumari Selja told Parliament on Thursday that this step has been taken to counter the downward trend of the inbound tourism. The Tourism Ministry has taken several steps to counter the downward trend of inbound tourism and to promote tourism to the country which includes liberalizing the marketing development assistance scheme for service providers promoting India, organizing road shows in important tourist generating markets overseas, arranging familiarization tours to India for international travel trade and media representatives to keep them updated on safety and security conditions in the country, media campaigns are being organized in the print, electronic, online and outdoor media and a "Visit India 2009" scheme, in collaboration with all stakeholders including airlines, hotels, tour operators, State Governments for incentivising travel to India. Selja said various countries have been issuing travel advisories from time to time, advising their citizens to avoid travel or to take precautions while traveling to areas in the country which are temporarily disturbed. "The Tourism Ministry through its overseas offices and in collaboration with the External Affairs Ministry and Indian missions abroad takes up the matter regarding lifting of travel advisories as and when issued by different countries to avoid any adverse impact on tourism to the country," Kumari Selja said.
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