UK travellers now account for almost a quarter of all Indian e-visas issued worldwide – 197,788 out of 881,817 – since the system was introduced a year ago.

The UK represents the strongest market globally for the India e-tourist visa, according to figures released by the India Tourism Office in London.

Britain was number one within the first two months of the introduction of the e-visa, ranked first out of 113 countries using the new scheme.

The UK has since remained in top position for e-visa take-up due to marketing and promotional efforts undertaken by the tourist office.

India attracted 870,000 UK visitors in the last year. Latest figures show that 16.51% of total foreign tourist arrivals to India in July were from the UK.

The tourist office claims that e-visa system has made it easier to travel to India by reducing the time and expense previously required in securing official permission to enter the country.

Raj Sunani, assistant director at the India Tourism Office London, said: “Until August last year, British visitors had to go through a process of booking an appointment and presenting relevant documentation at visa processing centres, a relatively long process.

“Now, the India e-tourist visa scheme has vastly simplified travel to India and is a proven success. The scheme is expected to boost UK tourist arrivals to India, assisting in India Tourism’s aim to attract one million UK visitors to the country.”

The e-tourist visas were initially launched on a limited basis in November 2014 in 77 countries.

The scheme was expanded in August 2015 to cover 113 countries, including the UK.

Travellers to India who hold an e-visa are permitted to arrive at one of 16 designated airports and can travel to India twice in a calendar year.