Inbound Travel

India extends e-visa facility to Chinese tourists

DELHI

In a long awaited move, the Indian Government has finally decided to extend and implement the e-Tourist Visa facility for Chinese tourists including those from Hong Kong and Macau with effect from the July 30.

The scheme was launched by the government in November last year and has been extended to 77 countries (including the latest three) including the likes of Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Russia, USA and the holy Vatican City.

Availing of the scheme, tourists can arrive at nine designated airports (Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai & Trivandrum) with a prior e-approval. Since the launch of the scheme, about 2,00,000 (Two lakh) e-TVs have been issued to nationals of different countries.

During the last three years, a total of 1,79,873 (one lakh seventy nine thousand eight hundred seventy three) tourist visas have been issued to nationals of Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR. It is expected that extending the e-Tourist Visa facility to the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR will boost the tourist arrival from these regions and strengthen bilateral ties among people of these territories.

Since 2012, China has become the world’s largest outbound tourism market as per United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). By 2019 Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects 174 million Chinese to spend  $264 billion as compared to the 109 million who spent $164 billion in 2014.

Musafir Namah Bureau

 

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