Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi on Wednesday said a proposal to grant visa-on-arrival (VoA) to tourists from Germany, Russia, France and South Africa was under his Ministry’s active consideration.

The Ministry had also asked the Home Ministry to consider grant of VoA for 16 more countries in an attempt to give a big push to arrivals.

Mr. Chiranjeevi was speaking at the inauguration of India pavilion at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin on Wednesday. He said Germany was an important market for India as during 2011, over 240,000 Germans visited India. “Foreign tourist arrivals to India constitute only 0.64 per cent of the world tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings account for 1.61 per cent of the world tourism receipts. This is a matter of concern for all of us in the Ministry. Our endeavour is to increase India’s share to 1 per cent of the world tourist arrivals by 2016,” he said.

The Minister is on a five-day visit to Germany.

Mr. Chiranjeevi last week met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and submitted a proposal seeking the extension of VoA for 16 countries.

Consistent with the Look East policy, the Tourism Ministry has included Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei in the proposed VoA list. It has also sought the inclusion of some Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries along with Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The other countries proposed for the extension of the facility are Spain, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago. The VoA facility is now available for tourists from countries such as Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines.

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