E-tourist Visa to boost Tourism in Gujarat
On this Independence Day, a total of seven airports in India along with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport Ahmedabad got the consent for e-tourist visa. This would help tourists from 113 countries to get benefits of this scheme yet. However, due to some logistical causes, this scheme has not been executed at the Ahmedabad Airport. Travel agencies and tour operators have a feeling that after this scheme is implemented, it is going to bring in an enormous boost to the state’s tourism.
Saurabh Patel, the Tourism Minister of Gujarat said, “This was one of the long time demands of the state. We have got in-principle approval and are in process of setting up the needed infrastructure for the scheme implementation. Soon, it will be in place and tourists will be able to enter Ahmedabad with e-visa.”
As per the statistic given by Union Ministry of Tourism, in year 2014 about 2.5 lakh tourists from across the globe visited Gujarat, which was an increase of by 18.49 percent in contrast to the year 2013. Tour operators feel that once E-visa scheme would be enforced on the ground, foreign tourist visits are going to go up by 30 percent.
Raju Choksi, Managing Director, Ace Tours said, “This scheme will be hugely beneficial to last moment travellers. In some countries availing visa is a cumbersome process, so tourists from these countries will be benefited with this scheme. In a long course, FTVs will pick up. It will also depend on ease of getting visa through this scheme for growth in tourists’ numbers.”
Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Akshay Travels feels that because of the presence of various Multi- national companies in Gujarat and a few other planning to set their units, the E-tourist visa scheme is surely going to bring benefits in the tourism business. “With e-visa, corporates will have direct access giving the much needed impetus to business tourism. Besides this, the scheme will also increase inbound tourism in country as foreign tourists will have options of entering India from any of 16 airports,” said Manish Sharma, MD, Akshay Travels.
Another tour operator in Ahmedabad said, “The implementation of e-visa will also propel airlines to add more international flights from Ahmedabad.”
Who are eligible to avail e-visa?
Those foreign visitors who wish to visit India for sightseeing, recreation, for medical treatment, a casual business visit or a visit for meeting relative or friends are eligible.
How to apply for e-visa?
Applying for an e-visa is extremely easy. As per the scheme, the applicant gets an email that authorizes his or her visit to India after his application receives an approval. The applicant just needs to carry a printout of this authorization when he or she is travelling to India. Tourist visa on arriving in India, the foreign tourist will be presenting the authorization to the immigration authorities who will be putting a stamp on it so that he can enter the country. Foreign nationals from countries like Malaysia, United States of America, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and Australia are going to avail the benefits from e-tourist visa scheme.