Five-year e-visa set to bring in more Chinese
In a major boost for the tourism industry, especially during the ongoing season, India has relaxed its e-visa policy for Chinese nationals. China being the largest and fastest growing source market, the move is expected to attract more Chinese tourists.
“October 2019 onwards, Chinese nationals can apply for an e-tourist visa (e-TV) of five-year validity with multiple entries. The visa fee for this five-year multiple entry e-TV will be $80,” according to Indian embassy in China.
Prospective tourists can avail of single-entry 30-day validity e-TV at a reduced visa fee of $25 and for a 30-day e-TV during the months of April to June the visa fee will be only $10. The one-year multiple-entry e-TV will continue to be offered at a reduced visa fee of $40.
In addition, e-TV, the existing medical visa, e-conference visa, and the one-year multiple-entry business visa will continue to be issued through the online platform.
It is anticipated that this unilateral liberalisation of e-TV for Chinese nationals will further enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and encourage more Chinese tourists to choose India as a destination for tourism purposes, the release said “China is the largest out-bound market in the world. With India being a medium haul destination, we are best positioned to take advantage of this huge market with the new visa fees reduction. With the recent visit of the Chinese Premier, the mood is positive between the two countries and this is the right time to launch incredible India in China,” said Dipak Deva, Managing Director. Travel Corporation of India.
According to reports, Chinese travellers made nearly 150 million out-bound visits in 2018, which was up 14.7 per cent year- on-year. Thailand, Japan, Vietnam. Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United States, Cambodia, Russia, and the Philippines were the top 10 destination-ns for Chinese travellers in 2018. Due to proximity and widespread availability of Chinese cuisine, India has a lot of potential to attract tourists from the country However; China is not a major source market for India yet. Last year, India received 2.5 lakh Chinese, while 7.5 lakh Indians visited China. Nevertheless, Chinese tourists are increasingly searching for Indian destinations, hotels and restaurants. As per a study by Trip Advisor last year, China topped the list with growing interest in India, with a whopping 134 per cent YoY growth over the previous year.
“Both the government and the tourism service providers should look at creating specific travel itinerary for Chinese tourists and get Chinese language speaking people to communicate with them. Buddhist circuits and Bollywood packages would be of interest for the Chinese tourists,” said Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, Trip Advisor India.