Varanasi: Tourists from countries having a sizeable Buddhist population such as Thailand and Malaysia would be provided visas on arrival, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said Saturday.

Inaugurating a two-day International Buddhist Conclave here, Sahai said: “India being the land of origin of Buddhism is the main attraction for Buddhist tourists from across the globe.”

“The tourism ministry is drawing up plans to attract more tourists from Buddhist countries by providing them special facilities like VoA to citizens of Thailand and Malaysia,” he said.

He said the tourism ministry is continuing with its efforts in identifying more Buddhist circuits and developing them in a holistic and integrated manner.

As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, the union government had launched the VoA scheme in January 2010 for citizens of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore visiting India as tourists.

This scheme was extended for the citizens of six more countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos and Myanmar – in January 2011.

Source: IANS