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The Goa International Airport is set to issue E-Tourist Visas (ETVs) to 31 new countries enlisted for this facility granted by the Union government recently, a move that will boost tourism during monsoon.The existing policy had provided this benefit to 45 countries and with the inclusion of 31 more countries, the facility is now available for citizens from nearly 75 countries, while the Union Government plans to extend this to 150 by 2016, stated a press release issued by the Goa Tourism Department on Wednesday.

Now tourists from Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Belgium, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Sweden, Tanzania, East Timor, Turks and Caicos Islands, the UK, Uruguay and Venezuela are eligible for ETVs under the new visa policy.The airport at Dabolim has already made adequate arrangements for catering to citizens from 75 countries, availing of ETV facility. As on June 8, as many as 16,875 ETVs were issued at the Dabolim airport, it said.

Goa Tourism is expecting a good footfall of foreign tourists during monsoons (June-September) as the new trend has set in of foreign tourists arriving to the state as free independent travellers (FITs). Dilip Parulekar, Minister for Tourism and Woman & Child, Government of Goa, said, “Goa  Tourism is looking forward to the new season 2015 commencing in September. And new initiatives such as hot air balloon, amphibious vessel and seaplanes will also begin operations and will be a major attraction in the coming season.”