PANAJI: A year after the launch of the e-Tourist Visa (ETV) facility, Goa's Dabolim airport has issued a total of 37,199 ETVs to visitors from as many as 65 countries.
The facility, which has been extended to citizens of 113 countries, was launched by the Centre in November last year and started in Goa the following month with all processes in place for ensuring smooth and efficient services for tourists seeking e-visa on arrival in the state, a release here said.
The ETV data, which is till December 10, 2015, shows that about 7,000 UK nationals have availed the facility at Dabolim airport so far and the footfalls are increasing by the day.
Goa Tourism had aggressively promoted the facility at the recent World Travel Market in London and is optimistic that more British tourists will visit the state this season as against the previous years.
Russian nationals, who top Goa's ETV seekers' list, have been issued as many as 20,258 ETVs by different airports of the country, the release added.
Officials said that, in the current peak season, around 500-600 ETVs are being issued daily at the airport.
Foreign nationals who have availed the ETV here in Goa include those from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Malaysia, Jordan, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, China, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, UAE, Oman, it said.
The inflow of foreign tourists includes those arriving via charters and as Free Independent Travellers (FITs).
Opining that FITs are generally big spenders and will be drawn to Goa with the high-end initiatives recently introduced by Goa Tourism, state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said yesterday that "it is very encouraging to see an increase in FITs in Goa".
Goa Tourism, which has been marketing tourism to the world by participating in international travel and tourism events, fairs, exhibitions and road shows, has confirmed that results are emerging, especially from those countries where it has made its presence felt.
Goa is gearing up for the last fortnight of the year with various events and activities planned across the state, the release said.