The free visa to the tourists will be issued till March 31, 2022 or the issuance of five lakh visa, whichever is earlier.
COVID-19 India: With the covid cases in the country showing a steady decline, India may soon reopen its door to welcome foreign tourists for the first time after good 1.6 years, revealed the officials. In a bid to revive tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors in the country, first five lakh foreign tourists will be issued visas free of cost. The Indian economy was badly hit by the covid led lockdowns since March 2020, as reported by the news agency PTI.
The top Union Home Ministry officials are in talks with the stakeholders that will decide the expected date and modalities for reopening of the borders for foreign tourists. A formal announcement is expected to come within the next 10 days, read the document issued from the Home Ministry. The decision due to the declining COVID-19 cases in the country. On Sunday, India reported 30,773 new cases while active cases had dropped to 3.32 lakh. On Saturday, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage also crossed 80 crore.
The free visa to the tourists will be issued till March 31, 2022 or the issuance of five lakh visa, whichever is earlier. The total financial implication for this would be Rs 100 crore. “The free visa move is expected to incentivise short-term tourists visiting India”, the official said, as reported in PTI. “The cost for a month-long e-tourist visa is country specific but is around USD 25. A year-long multiple entry e-tourists visa charge is around USD 40”, it further reported The e-tourists visa remained suspended from March 2020 due to covid pandemic.
The Home Ministry officials also said that the tourists will be allowed with certain conditions–like those vaccinated will be allowed to enter the borders. The reopening will take place in a phased manner to understand response and implications of the move, another official said. India is among many countries that have started opening up for tourists.