Today I read in the news that eVisas have increased tourism for India by 400%. How do eVisas increase tourism so drastically? How is it different from a regular visa in terms of increasing tourism?
The increase is in visas on arrival and not tourists
Assume India had 100 visitors earlier, of which 10 availed of visa on arrival. Now 50 of them avail of visa on arrival
eVisas are easier to obtain, thus encouraging more people to visit. While for many who visit this forum, visas are but a minor nuisance, to many they are an obstacle, finding the form to fill out, going to get photos made, going to the bank for a bank money order ... easier to go somewhere else.
Though I find a 400% increase to be stretching it a bit for these reasons alone. There would likely be additional reasons such as lower fees, higher approval rates, etc.
A comparison just for the sake of making an example would be online shopping vs conventional shopping. Which one is easier? Ordering a movie online and being able to watch it on spot without moving your lazy butt or going all the way to the store to get the DVD?
Same thing goes for visas. Most people when planning a vacation they put a list of places to choose from, then they start checking prices and other stuff and visa is indeed on top of that list. Being able to have the visa easily will be a big plus to that destination.
Other thing, online visas mean there is less auditing by humans, computers can do that stuff faster and in some cases it will be issued on-spot, and the faster the visa is granted, the more people will be putting that destination on the top of the list.