Mr. Subhash Goyal President, Indian Association of Tour Operators thanked the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Rajnath Singh, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and the 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. Expressing his happiness, Mr. 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. Mr. Goyal said “About two lakh e-TVs have been issued to nationals of different countries since the launch of this scheme on November 27, 2014 and 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”.
While thanking the Government, Mr. Subhash Goyal appeals the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Tourism that under e-tourist visa Scheme, double/multiple entry visa be allowed 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.
Subhash Goyal also mentioned that if we really want to promote Buddhist Circuits amongst tourists from countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam etc., for those countries and SAARC countries, visa fee should not be more than 20 USD for e-tourist visa or it should be on reciprocal basis. In Sri Lanka for E-Visa, it is 15 USD and for visa on Arrival it is 25 USD.