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Goa Tourism to strengthen mechanisms at Goa Airport Dabolim to facilitate issue of E-Visa

Panjim, Dec 17 — The  tourism  ministry  on Wednesday  reviewed  the  on-going  E-Visa and Visa-on- Arrival  (VoA) facility  launched  at the  Goa  Airport  at Dabolim, an exercise  to  strengthen  the   mechanisms  and  simplify  the  processes. The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Tourism Minister, Shri. Dilip Parulekar along with Tourism   Director, Shri. Ameya  Abhyankar and  Managing  Director  of  Goa  Tourism  Development  Corporation,  Shri. Nikhil Desai.

The  Goa Airport  Director K D Rao,  Assistant  Director  and Chief  Immigration Officer  Aravind  Kumar H Nair,  President  of  the  Travel and  Tourism  Association  of   Goa  Francisco Bragansa,  Members  of  TTAG Ralph D’Souza, Earnest   Dias   and Savio Messias   and representatives  from the  FRRO  department of the  Goa  Police were  also  present.

Minister for Tourism, Shri. Dilip  Parulekar  in a statement  after the  meeting  said, “We  held  deliberations with   representatives  from the  Goa  airport,  Travel and  Tourism  Association and  stakeholders   to  get a  feed back of the  new  facility introduced   at the  Goa  airport. We  want  to  ensure  that  all difficulties and hurdles  pertaining to this  new  facility  introduced   at  the airport  are  mitigated   and  solutions   worked out  and  systems   put in place  as the   tourism  season  is  at  its  peak and  international   visitors  to  Goa will begin  arriving  in large  numbers,” he  explained.

Suggestions for  additional counters  to  facilitate  issue  of the  E-Visas and  VoA,   continuation of the  Group Landing Permit system  for the  season,  an official  Porter  Counter,  Signages  in foreign languages disseminating   VoA  and E-Visa  data and  payment of fees were  some of the  recommendations that  were  deliberated upon during the review  meeting today.

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The  TTAG  members  drew  the  attention  of the  Goa airport officials  on  various  issues  pertaining  to  issue  of  E-Visas  and  Visas on Arrival (VoA) and  made  several  suggestions  that  would  simplify the  process and expedite the  issue of this  facility  to  foreign nationals  from the  43  countries  who have  been  enlisted  for benefit under this  system.

During the  review  meeting   observations  were  made that  even though the  VoA  and  E-Visa  facility  has  just been  introduced   foreign nationals  are  availing of  this  benefit. The Goa airport officials disclosed that   as on today 375 VoA have been issued.

The   officials  from the  Goa   airport  pointed out that the  system is  working smoothly, all counters are manned at all times and there is no  shortage of  staff in handling the counters  set up for  facilitating  issue  of  VoA at the  airport.

The  tourism  ministry  and the  travel and  tourism  industry  suggested  that  sign boards  in  the  foreign languages  of  Russian, German  and others in addition   to  English be  prominently   displayed  with  all data and information, fee structures   be provided  to  passengers  availing of the  VoA  at the  airport.

Representatives  from the  travel and  tour  industry  also  suggested   for  continuation of the  Group Landing Permits (GLP)  until  such  time the  awareness  of the VoA facility  is  spread  across the  43   countries  enlisted  by the  Union  Home  Ministry.

It was also suggested that an official Porter  Counter  be set  up at the  airport Goa and the airport  officials  are  to  take  forward  the  recommendations.

The  TTAG President   Francisco  Bragansa said, “Whatever  challenges  are being faced  at the  Goa  airport   with  regards  to the  E-Visa and  VoA  were  thrashed  out  today   at the  meeting and we are  optimistic  that   officials  of Goa  Tourism   and  Goa  Airport at  Dabolim will  find  appropriate  solutions.”

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