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Destinations ease visa norms to attract Indian tourists

In
order to get a bigger share of Indian outbound tourist market, foreign governments
have eased their visa issuing norms.

Recently, in a roadshow in Kolkata, French Consulate and Atout France shared inputs on visa deliverance
reiterating that all visa applications for tourists were being processed within
48 hours.

In
order to get a bigger share of Indian outbound tourist market, foreign governments
have eased their visa issuing norms.

Recently, in a roadshow in Kolkata, French Consulate and Atout France shared inputs on visa deliverance
reiterating that all visa applications for tourists were being processed within
48 hours.

Read: France envisages becoming main European destination for Indians

Tourism New Zealand, which has recently enhanced its focus on Indian
business travel segment, on the other hand, signed an agreement to benefit them
with faster processing times and reduced paperwork.

Read: New Zealand eases norms for Indian business travellers

“With the Indian outbound market poised to cross
16 million by the end of this calendar year, destinations are simplifying visa
procedures for Indian nationals,” Karan Anand , Head, Relationships, Cox
& Kings was quoted as saying.

While some countries are reducing the visa processing time some
have scrapped it all together. For instance, Tunisia has exempted Indian
tourists from the need to procure a visa altogether.

The number of Indians travelling abroad rose by
21% in the first half of this year as compared to the corresponding period last
year according to a survey by Trip Advisor.

United States has also eased the visa issue
procedures with a view to attract a million Indian tourists by 2015. Visa
interviews can take just about five minutes though there is no prescribed time
limit laid down by the US government.

The United States offers a ten-year, multiple
entry visa known as B1/B2 visa that can be used for both business and personal
trips of a short duration.

Britain
and Ireland have launched a single visa scheme for Indian tourists.

In fact, South Africa tourism, which has
announced the need for biometric data while processing visa is trying hard to
set up more and more centers in India to make the process hassle-free. Hanneli
Slabber, Country Manager of the tourism board while speaking to tourism board
explained that efforts are being made to make the process effective and less
time consuming.

“Most
foreign government know about the potential of Indian travelers, so they are
relaxing the visa norms. Countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Mauritius,
Hong Kong, Thailand, Kenya, Maldives etc offer visa on arrival. Some countries
offer an e-visa on fast track. Australian government is training more agents
under the preferred agency scheme and under this scheme visas are being issued
in two days without the need to deposit passport,” Guldeep Singh Sahni,
president of Outbound Tour Operators Association
of India told Business Standard.

Indians
who are not only travelling in large numbers but are also large spenders on
foreign trips, are making the most of these opportunities to travel on long and
extended weekends or making short haul trips.

Cox & Kings too has launched products enabling customers to take
care of easier visa norms. “We have identified destinations such Sri
Lanka, Thailand, Seychelles, Maldives and Mauritius which have visa on arrival
for Indians and have devised packages allowing customers to travel within 24
hours of booking,” said Anand.

 

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