Goa seeks visa-on-arrival for Russian tourists

gaoPANAJI: The Goa tourism ministry has pitched for a visa-on-arrival facility to be extended to tourists from five more nations including Russia, to attract maximum footfall during the peak tourist season.

Goa tourism minister Dilip Parulekar, who is back from Delhi after attending a meeting of state tourism ministers told reporters that the demand has been placed before Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi to extend the visa-on-arrival facility for tourists from Russia, Germany, France and Netherlands.

Russia is the leading market for Goa’s tourism industry from where more than a lakh tourists arrive annually, second only to arrivals from the United Kingdom.

“I have requested Union Minister for Tourism Chiranjeevi to include more countries like Russia, Germany, France and Netherlands in the list of countries whose citizens can be granted visa-on-arrival facility,” Parulekar told reporters here.
Citizens from 30 different countries already enjoy visa-on-arrival facility at half a dozen airports in the country including Dabolim in Goa.

The minister said that having more countries on the list for visa-on-arrival facility would help increase foreign tourist arrivals to India, since tourist destinations like Sri Lanka and South East Asia offer such a facility.

Parulekar said that the tourism industry in Goa is thankful to the Centre for allowing collective landing permits which enables a group of more than four tourists to land in Goa and get visas at the airport.

The concession is permitted with the rider that the travel agent who brings the group should not allow any of them to stray around and everyone should be together, following same travel itinerary. -PTI

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