Thiruvananthapuram Airport along with the Cochin International Airport joined six other elite airports in the country to issue T-VoA

Kerala on Wednesday became the gateway to India for holidaymakers from 11 countries who can get tourist visa on arrival (T-VoA).

The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport along with the Cochin International Airport joined six other elite airports in the country in issuing this passport to tourists when the country is celebrating its 66th Independence Day.

Citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia can get the T-VoA at these two airports.

Already the Ünion Ministry of External Affairs has asked the missions abroad to publicise the extension of T-VoA and to alert the holidaymakers in the 11 countries. “We are ready to grant the T-VoA from midnight,” an Immigration official said.

Infrastructure facilities, as mandated by the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) functioning under the Ministry of Home, have been put in place.

A 250-sq.ft holding area has been set aside in the Immigration area and exclusive visa desks, special enclosure for photographing, foreign exchange counter, signage and display, and telephone connections have been put in place.

Intelligence Bureau (IB) will man the exclusive visa desks. Twenty persons, including 16 counter officers, have been posted.

Introduced as part of a plan of the Ministry of Tourism to double within four years the number of foreign tourists visiting the country, the T-VoA will help stakeholders get tourists round the year.

A tourist can get T-VoA with a maximum validity of 30 days. The objectives of the visit should only be recreation, sightseeing, and meeting friends or relatives and “no other purpose or activity will be allowed.”