In an effort to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Embassy of Israel in India has opened a Kolkata Israel Visa Application Centre for West Bengal and North Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Additionally, visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre are also acceptable at the new Kolkata Centre. The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism, meeting or conference and A2 for students.
Commenting on the new opening, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “Israel is experiencing a tourism boom like never before. India has recorded a half yearly growth of 82% as compared to the same period in 2015 and has become one of the best performing markets in Asia for Israel. Keeping this in mind, the Ministry consistently aims to introduce initiatives that ease the procedure of visa applications to Israel. The new centre in Kolkata will no longer require residents from West Bengal and North Eastern states to send in their documents to the Embassy in New Delhi. We are confident that this will be seen as a welcoming move to increase interest among travellers from these regions of India”.
Among other initiatives, Israel recently announced a reduction in visa fees to INR 1,100 from its previous INR 1,700 charge for Indian citizens. In December last year, relaxed visa documentation was brought in for applicants who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these destinations.
Mr. Madah added, “The Ministry of Tourism will be conducting a roadshow in Kolkata on 29th of August to increase interest for the destination among consumers and trade fraternity. This will coincide well with the recent opening of the visa application centre to help us tap into newer segments. We also organised our maiden roadshow in Guwahati in May this year and successfully introduced the varied tourism offerings of Israel”.
Israel offers a plethora of things to do and see to cater to the discerning traveller. From the historical city of Jerusalem to the beach city of Tel Aviv; from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, to the marvellous underwater marine life of Red Sea in Eilat, Israel is truly a dynamic destination.