Increase in VoA Facility to Boost Tourism Sector

Published: 01st March 2015 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2015 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

ALUVA:In the Union Budget presented on Saturday, the government increased the number of countries for which the Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility is available from 43 to 150, in a move to rejuvenate the tourism industry. The facility will be available at nine designated airports across the country.

According to the CIAL authorities, the initiative would boost the traffic of international passengers to Kochi, especially considering the upcoming international terminal at the airport.

Official data shows that passenger traffic increased substantially after the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) facility was implemented at the airport on November 11, 2014. In December 2014, 1,741 foreign passengers availed the TVoA facility at Kochi airport, along with the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility.

In December last year, a total of 31,813 passengers had arrived at the airport, compared to 23,659 in December 2013, marking a 34 percent growth. In November 2014,  21,733 foreigners visited.

“Increasing the number of countries with the VoA facility would have a positive impact on the number of  foreign passengers, thereby boosting tourism in the State,” said Airport Director A C K Nair.   Airport officials further noted that an increase in traffic from abroad was welcome as the new international terminal would be capable of handling as many as 4,000 passengers even at peak hours.

A foreign tourist using the VoA facility will only have to submit his/her visa application and fee online, and carry a copy of ‘granted ETA’ with them.

A separate area with 4 counters has been set up for the TvoA seekers at the CIAL. The visa will be valid for 30 days from the date of arrival.


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