Monday, January 18, 2010

To Attract Foreign Tourists 50% visa fee waiver as an Incentive

Taking a leaf out of its slogan ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’, the tourism ministry is likely to waive off 50% of the visa fee charged from visitors of Commonwealth nations as an incentive to boost foreign tourist arrivals. This is part of its effort to incentives tourism to India for the Commonwealth Games to be held in October.

“We are considering a proposal to waive off 50% of the visa fee. The expense will be borne by the tourism ministry,” a source said. The move comes after the positive response to ‘Visit India 2009’ promotion where major stakeholders like hospitality partners, tour operators and others had offered schemes and promotions in addition to what the visitor paid for. The visa fee waiver will supplement the promotions and the ministry is already in talks with hotels, travel agents and tour operators for extending these incentives for another year.

There are 54 members of the Commonwealth of nations of which visitors from UK, Australia and Canada form a large part of India’s tourist inflow. India received 5.11 million tourists of which 0.5 million come from Commonwealth nations.

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henry J said...
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