Has India been on your bucket list for long? If so, then there’s every reason to visit this incredible country first thing after the international travel ban is lifted. The latest (and most welcoming one) to add to the reasons to visit India is a free India tourist visa! Yes, the Government decides to give away free tourist visas to 5 lakh tourists as and when the country reopens its borders for international travelers.
“Once international travel resumes, the first 5 lakh tourists who come to India will not have to pay visa fees,” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Rolling out these free India tourist visas begins once the country restarts issuing tourist visas, which have been suspended since the COVID-19 outbreak. A tourist can avail this benefit only once under this scheme, which remains applicable until March 31, 2022, or until the time the first 5 lakh visas are issued (whichever is earlier).
The Centre came up with this welcome back offer for tourists in a bid to revive the tourism industry that has been hit hard by the unprecedented pandemic and the unprecedented measures it called for. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also noted (during the press conference) that 10.93 million foreign tourists booked flights and toured India in 2019, stayed for 21 days on average, and spent USD 30.098 billion on leisure and business.
Apart from issuing free India tourist visas to 5 lakh tourists, the Government also announced financial assistance to over 11,000 registered tourist guides and Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) as part of its measures to support and strengthen the tourism industry.
“Under the new Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID affected sectors, working capital/ personal loans will be provided to people in the tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated the Finance Minister. Neither processing fee, foreclosure charges are applicable nor is any collateral required for this personal loan, clarified Ms. Sitharaman.
So, India’s free tourist visa scheme and Indian Eagle’s super-saving flight deals are right there for you to grab when it’s time to travel again. Start planning your India travel itinerary now!