After being shut out of all sorts of discussions for the past 15 months, since India and the rest of the world got hit by the Covid-19 Pandemic, India is finally getting started (hopefully!), with the business of reviving tourism by giving out free tourist visa to India.
Free Tourist Visa to Visit India for 500,000 international tourists
One of the new announcements today made by the Government of India is about issuing free-of-cost Tourist Visas to visit India. Pre-pandemic, India used to receive 1.1 Crore (11 Million) Foreign Tourist Arrivals per annum. Now, the first 500,000 tourist visas issued, once India will allow entry to this category of visitors, will be issued free of charge.
The government states that this benefit will be available once per tourist, and will be applicable till March 31, 2022 or till the first 500,000 visas are issued.
This proposal seems to indicate some line of thinking from the Government, of opening up tourism. However, I personally believe that India is, at this point in time not ready to open up again, as they wait it out for the impeding third wave, and also all the talk around the Delta+ variant of the SARS-Cov-2 Virus lurking around. Don’t forget, the country has only fully vaccinated 4% of the population, and most cities and tourist destinations are shut at the moment. Also, international air travel opening continues to be postponed every month. How are people expected to fly in without reasonable fares, which typically came via sixth freedom flights into India?
India has announced it would give 500K tourists free visas to visit India, as long as they apply by March 2022. This looks like an ambitious plan, but an honest attempt, and I hope the tourism sector is given all the support they deserve to get things going for them in India once again.
What do you make of the Government’s move to issue free tourist visa to visit India? Would you partake?
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