Jan 15 2013, 6:06am CST | by Luigi Lugmayr
New Delhi, Jan 15 — Japanese tourists were issued the maximum Visas on Arrival (VoAs) in 2012, closely followed by New Zealanders, tourism ministry officials Tuesday.
Overall, 16,084 VoAs were issued during 2012 as compared to 12,761 in 2011, a jump of 26 percent, officials said.
Officials said in December last year, they issued 2,181 visas on arrival as compared to 1,640 during the same month in 2011 - a growth of 33 percent.
The number of visas issued during December 2012 for nationals of 11 countries were Japan (691), New Zealand (505), Indonesia (310), Singapore (256), the Philippines (239), Finland (104), Vietnam (34), Myanmar (20), Cambodia (13) and Luxembourg (9). No VoAs were issued to citizens of Laos.
The scheme was launched by the Indian government in January 2010 to attract more foreign tourists to India.
It was first started for citizens of five countries - Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore.
It was later extended to citizens of six more countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines in January 2011.
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