Ramping up tourist numbers is seen as a significant revenue earner with 600,000 foreign visitors a year being a miniscule proportion of global tourism. With timely intervention, the sector can grow much faster than the 24 million jobs currently targeted in the 12th Plan. So far, the VoA scheme has registered modest success with over 10,000 visas issued last year.
At present, 13 countries whose nationals can avail a visa on arrival include Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar. But the list excludes more populous nations even in the Asean who can be tapped for a much larger tourist footfall. “