Tourism in India is a very important source of foreign exchange earnings and has high labor intensity. Therefore, the growth of tourism is important for the overall growth of the economy of India. Indian Minister of State for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma has congratulated the Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley for presenting a balanced, far-sighted and growth-oriented budget for tourism and hospitality sectors.
Dr Mahesh Sharma said that the announcement by the Finance Minister to extend Visa on Arrival Facility (VOA) to 150 countries in stages from the current 43, is a big step to promote tourism. This, combined with the latest introduction of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) will help to achieve very soon the target of increasing the country’s share to international tourism to more than 1%. VOA facility enabled by ETA has already shown remarkable results. the Tourism Minister has said that during the month of January 2015, a total of 25,023 tourist arrived by availing TVoA as compared to 1,903 TVoA during the month of January 2014, registering a growth of 1214.9%. This high growth is due to introduction of ETA enabled TVoA for 43 countries.