UPDATE: In November 2014 the Indian government introduced an online visa scheme for 43 countries, but the UK was not one of them.
UK holidaymakers will be able to sign up online for a visa to India and collect it on arrival in the country under new government law.
The UK is one of 40 countries that are affected in the changes, which also allows travellers aged 60 or above to receive a visa on arrival.
Those attending conventions will also find it easier to obtain a visa.
“There has to be a change in mindset towards the way we treat foreign tourists. All representatives of government agreed on extending visa on arrival to 40 countries and initiating an online system as soon as possible,” planning minster Rajeev Shukla is quoted saying in the India Times.
Tour operators have welcomed the move as tourism in the country continues to open up and more product becomes available.
“The decision by the Indian government to extend the visa on arrival scheme to UK citizens is a fantastic development for tourism to this amazing country. This will make it possible to sell last minute holidays to India – a perfectly viable option when you consider that Delhi is only eight hours away from London,” Neil Sealy, business development manager at If Only…told Travel Daily. “Couples can now make ‘on the spur’ plans for a visit to the Taj Mahal, perhaps to ‘pop the question’ against the backdrop of the world’s most iconic monument of love, and culture enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the array of bustling bazaars and timeless monuments India has to offer, at short notice. This move clearly demonstrates the Indian government’s commitment to supporting tourism, and we welcome it with enthusiasm.”