IATO thanks Union Government for implementation of e-Tourist Visa for China
ETW Staff – New Delhi
Subhash Goyal, president, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) thanked Narendra Modi, prime minister of India; Rajnath Singh, Union home minister; Dr Mahesh Sharma, tourism minister and officials of ministry of home affairs and ministry of tourism for implementing e-Tourist visa (e-TV) facility to Chinese nationals, Hong Kong and Macau from today. This would take the total number of countries availing this facility to 77 from 74 earlier.
Subhash Goyal mentioned that China is a huge market especially for Buddhist tourists. “About 1.8 lakh tourists visited India from these countries in last three years and with this implementation of e-Tourist Visa to the Chinese Nationals, we expect 20-25 per cent increase in tourist arrivals from China,” he said. Goyal added that about two lakh e-TVs have been issued to nationals of different countries since the launch of this scheme on November 27, 2014. “We hope once it is implemented for all the 150 countries as government plans to do so in phased manner, this will have very positive impact on international tourist arrivals to India and we shall achieve the target of 15 million international tourist arrival by 2020, which will create millions of more jobs and foreign exchange for our country,” he added.
Goyal appealed to the ministry of home affairs and ministry of tourism to allow double/multiple entry visas with duration of stay to be extended to 45 days so that members selling combined packages of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc., can also ask their clients to apply for e-Tourist Visa. Presently all such tourists are avoiding India due to constraint of single entry.