E-visa a boost for tourism; India favourite among travelers'

With the government laying emphasis on boosting inbound tourism and introducing electronic visa facility (e-Visa) for 150 countries, India is fast becoming a popular destination amongst foreigners, according to a recent study.

Currently applicable to 77 nations, the e-Visa scheme has further given impetus to India's inbound travel, travel search company Skyscanner said in a study. "The decision to include tourism at the centre of its manifesto has signalled a new dawn for India's tourism sector. With the introduction of the e-Visa facility to 77 countries, travelling to India has become much more convenient and has further propelled tourist arrivals from around the world," Skyscanner India Senior Marketing Manager Kavitha Gnanamurthy said.

She added, with the government's pro-tourism initiatives, India has witnessed a growth of 9.2 per cent in inbound travel from January to May this year.

With a year-on-year increase of 57 per cent in flight searches, the UK tops the list of travellers heading to India this summer, followed by the US, which witnessed a 115 per cent Y-o-Y surge. The year on year growth in flight searches is based on searches performed between August 2013 and May 2014 in comparison to searches done between August 2014 and May 2015 by travellers on Skyscanner.

Australians too are not far behind and have recorded close to 111 per cent rise. Other countries that have seen a boost in flight searches to India are Germany (33 per cent Y-o-Y) and UAE (24 per cent Y-o-Y). Countries including Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Ireland have also recorded an increase in flight searches to India this summer season, the study found.

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