28/11/214 … Getting to Goa is going to be easier for foreign tourists as the Central government has finally launched the much awaited Visa-on-Arrival facility today extending this to 43 countries.
Goa Dabolim Airport is one of the nine airports in India which has been included in the list for providing the facility.
The list of 43 countries considered for Visa on Arrival Facility are Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshal Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
The cities where VoA will be issued includes Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The single entry tourist visa is valid for a period of 30 days.
Shri Dilip Parulekar, Minister for Tourism, Government of Goa said, “I had been pursuing the issue of Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) and E-Visa with the Central Government for over more than two years.”
“We are very happy today to announce that the facilities have finally been launched and extended to 43 countries effectively from today,” Shri Parulekar said. He thanked the Central Government headed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Dr Mahesh Sharma and Union Defense Minister and ex-Chief Minister of Goa Shri Manohar Parrikar.
Shri Parulekar further said, “This facility will enable tourists from the 43 countries enlisted for this benefit to apply and procure the visa within 96 hours with a validity for 30 days which is extendable subject to approval from the respective embassies.”
Shri Parulekar mooted the need for aggressive marketing in these nations in order to ensure that travel agencies and tourists are made aware of the facility and to encourage foreign visitors to avail of this facility.
Goa Tourism is confident that the launch of VoA will increase foreign tourist arrivals from 12 to 15 per cent annually. “Within the next four years we could see the arrivals doubling from five lakh to one million,” Shri Parulekar said.
The Minister for Tourism also briefed the media today of his meeting with the Union Minister for Tourism, Dr Mahesh Sharma during his visit to the national capital earlier this week. Issues relating to projects under the Central Financial Assistance were discussed.
Goa Tourism has sought for central assistance for Heritage and Conservation of Forts and Heritage Homes. The possibility of sending new projects during the financial year was also discussed. A review of on-going projects under central financial assistance was also discussed.
The Minister for Tourism Dilip Parulekar led the delegation which comprised of Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), Nilesh Cabral, Director of Tourism, Ameya Abhyankar and Managing Director of GTDC, Nikhil Desai.
Shri Parulekar also briefed the media on Incrivel Goa organized at Delhi Haat earlier this week. He said, “Incrivel Goa was an opportunity for people of Delhi to taste the flavours of Goa and experience the rich cultural heritage of the State.”
“We are also proud to announce that Goa has been voted the Favourite Leisure Destination – India at the Readers’ Travel Awards organized by Conde Nast Traveller India, a leading travel publication in the country,” Shri Parulekar said.
The award was received by Shri Parulekar in New Delhi yesterday.