International travel to India yet togather momentum

 Monday, November 8, 2021 


International travel to India is a bit slow to gather momentum with just a little more than 15,000 free tourist visas being issued so far out of the five lakh visas that provisioned by the Center.

In June 2021, the Ministry of Finance announced anarrangement to offer free tourist visas till March 31, 2022. The scheme was applicable for the first 5 lakh visas to be issued. A foreign tourist stays in India for 21 days on an average spending around $34 (Rs. 2,400) per day.

Official data said that 10.93 million foreign tourists visited India in 2019 spending $30 billion. “We are prepared to welcome back the tourists. Our vaccination programme is doing very well. Besides, all the stakeholders that are part of the tourism eco-system are being fully vaccinated on priority,” said a Tourism Ministry official.

The government announced granting tourist visas to those traveling by chartered flights by October 15 and those by regular flights from November 15. The e-visa for India is available for citizens of 156 countries. However, currently, China, Canada and Hong Kong are among the countries prohibited from this facility.

“In routine years, tourists come to India between the October and March. So, inflow of travellers is expected from November 15 onwards. Even if we manage to do 25 per cent of our business compared to 2019 levels, it will be a good number for the industry,” said KapilGoswamy, Managing Director, Trans-India Holidays.

Russian tourists have not availed chartered service due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in Russia.

The first chartered flight ferrying tourists to India is expected to land in Goa, from the UK, in mid-December 2021.

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