Trivandrum: Kerala has become the gateway to India for holidaymakers from 43 countries who can now get Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled with ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) at the Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi international airports.
Effective from November 27, 2014, the TVoA enabled with ETA will allow tourists to apply and pay the fee for the visa online, without having to travel to the Indian missions in their home countries. Applicants who are approved will receive the official travel authorization via email and only need to present a printed copy of this to the immigration authorities upon their arrival in India.
Kerala is the only State to have two airports where the service has been introduced and the Trivandrum (TRV) and Cochin (COK) airports are among only nine in the country to offer this facility. Discussions are currently underway to introduce it at the Calicut airport as well.
The TVoA enabled with ETA is being implemented in phases and has been made available initially to citizens of 43 countries, including 12 that were previously eligible for a Tourist Visa on Arrival.
Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anil Kumar said, “This new facility will make travelling to Kerala hassle-free for citizens of many countries. We will ensure that potential visitors are aware of this advantage by intensifying our promotional campaigns there. Some of our key markets such as Germany, Australia, Japan, Russia, USA and UAE are also on the list, which will be a great boost to tourism.”
G K V Rao, Tourism Secretary said, “The TVoA enabled with ETA, which has been extended to even more countries, has opened up wider markets for Kerala Tourism in Asia and Europe. We intend to take full advantage of this”.
Since August 2014 when the TVoA facility was first introduced at the Thiruvananthapuram airport, a separate holding area has been set aside in the Immigration section and the exclusive visa desks are manned by Intelligence Bureau officials. Special enclosures have been built for photographing visitors, and displays, signages and foreign exchange counters have been set up at the facility.
Kerala Biz News