Visa-on-Arrival for Buddhist pilgrims from 5 more countries | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Visa-on-Arrival for Buddhist pilgrims from 5 more countries

delhi Updated: Dec 12, 2010 10:40 IST

As a New Year gift to Buddhist pilgrims, the government has decided to extend Visa-on-Arrival facility to five ASEAN countries from January 1.

"It is being decided that Visa-on-Arrival (VoA)facility would be extended to five more countries -- Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. The scheme would be operational from the New Year 2011," a senior Tourism Ministry official said.

The single-entry visa, to be issued at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata airports, will have a validity of 30 days.

"The decision was taken after due discussion with the ministries of External Affairs and Home. A formal announcement in this regard will be made soon," the official said, adding, "the VoA would facilitate in attracting more Buddhist pilgrims from these countries."

India had launched the VoA in January on a pilot basis for Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Finland and Luxembourg.

"The response is so far good and 5,644 tourists availed this facility between January and November this year. Now we want to include more countries," he said.

Tourism Ministry has signed an MoU with International Finance Corporation to develop the Buddhist circuit.

"Currently, there is a special train connecting Buddhist sites and steps are being taken to make this circuit a well-connected route," the official said.