After designating the Port Blair Airport as an authorised immigration check post for entry into and exit from India, foreign tourists can now directly fly to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with valid travel documents.
In a notification, the home ministry said “In pursuance of sub-rule (b) of rule 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, the central government hereby designates Port Blair airport of Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as an authorised immigration check post for entry into/exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers.”
The decision comes after the killing of an American national by members of a highly protected tribe in one of the islands of the Union territory (UT).
The Andamans which has emerged as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country receives on an average four lakh tourists, including several thousand foreigners, annually.
According to data available with the home ministry, more than 16 lakh tourists visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands between 2015 and October this year to enjoy the natural beauty, beaches, flora and fauna and historically-significant landmarks in around 38 inhabited islands out of the 572 islets.
The archipelago has received 4,02,393 tourists, including 11,818 foreigners, till October, 2018 while it received 4,87,229 tourists, including 15,310 foreigners in 2017.