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NEW DELHI, February 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Goa’s government considers as correct and support the idea of India’s authorities to expand the list of countries, citizens of which will be able to obtain visas on arrival in airports and to include Russia in the list, Goa’s Minister for Tourism, Shri Dilip Parulekar, said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Monday.
He expressed confidence the idea would favour development of tourism.
Goa’s legislator Michael Lobo, in his turn, added the initiative would add to the state’s competition with other destinations in Asia. The decision will give an impetus to development of tourism in Goa, he added.
Last week, India’s Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs Raeev Shukla said after a meeting at the parliaments that India’s government had approved the extension of the list of countries, which citizens will be able to obtain visas to the country on their arrival.
The list will have 180 countries, including Russia, which is literally almost all countries; outside the list will remain Iran, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and several others. The official said the country’s authorities would require about six months to prepare necessary infrastructures at airports.
He continued saying tourists would be able to receive visas at airports in the beginning of next season already, that is from October of the current year, at nine airports including the international airports in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa.
The visa issued at the airport will be valid for 30 days. It will be issued for one visit. The authorities do not specify the time gap between expiration of the first visa and possible application for a next one.
Tourists will file an application on the Internet and pay for a duty. In three days’ time they will receive an electronic version of the visa, which is to be confirmed at the airport.
In 2012, India welcomed 6.58 million foreign tourists, where the growth is 4.3 percent year-on-year. In 2013, Goa welcomed the record 2.8 million visitors, including 450,000 foreigners. The region is also very popular with Russians: over 120,000 tourists visited Goa, and the forecasts say in 2014 over 200,000 Russians could visit the resort.
“Over a year, the number of foreign tourists visiting Goa, including those from Russia and the UK, grew by 9.27 percent,” Dilip Parulekar said.