Published on : Thursday, October 12, 2017
The ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler said that the number of Indian tourists has raised high in this year.
While inaugurating a branch office of the Consulate General of France based at Puducherry in the southern part of India, he told that France has now become the first tourist destination for Indians. It is because Indians love the culture and the urban life of France.
The total number of Indian tourists who visited France last year was 6,00,000, a sharp rise from around 3,00,000 in the year2014.
Asserting that there has been “more than 50 per cent,” increase in the number of visa applications, mostly seeking tourist visas, he said in the first six months of this year, the growth in the number of applications was around 35 per cent.
Alexandre Ziegler said that the processing time for visas will be two working days.
There is a massive drift in the student visas. They have set a target of 10,000 students visas (to be) issued by 2020, which accounted to 4,000 last year and 5,500 this year.
Puducherry’s Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy requested the President Emmanuel Macron to visit the union territory in the month of December, there Alexandre Ziegler said that it is not yet confirmed about the visit of the French president, but it is communicated by his embassy to his government.
Addressing the gathering at the inauguration of the branch, Ziegler also said that the new office will offer the consular services, issuance of visas and services to French community in Chennai, which was growing steadily. The Consul General based in Puducherry would be available at least two days a week in Chennai.
The economic facilitation and fostering people to people exchanges through academic and cultural cooperation would be among the other activities of the branch office.
It will provide the proximity and accessibility to the public and the inauguration is, once again, an indication of the very strong momentum that the Indo- French relation is experiencing.