India begins issuing visas to foreign tourists: Goa is preparing to host Russians

In the next ten days, the Indian government has to decide on the return of foreign tourists to the country. At the same time, bonus programs are already being offered for the first tourists.

According to The Hindu, those in charge of the Indian Ministry of the Interior are currently discussing the proposed date and the conditions for opening the country to foreign tourists with all interested parties. The official announcement of permission for foreign tourists to visit India could come within the next 10 days, a Home Office spokesman told the publication. “The decision is being made in the context of reducing the number of COVID-19 cases in the country,” experts also add.

Including, the first 5,000 foreign tourists are expected to receive free visas “to revitalize the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors”. In addition, a free tourist visa will be issued until March 31, 2022. “The visa-free regime is expected to encourage short-term tourists visiting India,” officials estimate. At the same time, the cost of a monthly electronic tourist visa is around $ 25, and the annual multiple-entry visa is around $ 40.

The conditions under which tourists enter the country are still being discussed. In particular for discussion – entry only for vaccinated tourists. The opening is also expected to be gradual to see reactions and consequences. In addition, the creation of a list of banned countries in which the coronavirus is still a problem is being discussed. Russia is not included in this list – Russian tourists are almost mentioned in the first place.

In particular, the Prime Minister of the holiday state of Goa, Pramod Savant, has already expressed the hope that the government will soon allow charter flights to Goa. “The Goa government is keen to start all activities related to tourism and we will make a decision on the introduction in the near future,” he said. The final decision in the resort state is pending in connection with the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be visiting soon. The Goa government wants to report to the head of government that the state has set itself the goal of completing the introduction of the second dose of the Covid vaccine for the entire population and opening it to tourists by October 31.

“We have to start tourism without waiting for the pandemic to end and when we have 100% vaccination people will be happy to come to Goa,” said Savant. He added that the Goa government had sent a letter to the Union’s Ministry of Interior and Foreign Affairs requesting special permission to permit charter flights to the tourist state. First and foremost, we are talking about charters from Russia and Europe.

As Indian Science and Technology Minister Michael Lobo added, charter tour operators from Russia have already met with Mr Savant, as well as Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar and other officials, asking them to seek approval from the Indian government for charter flights.

“The Indian government should allow Russian and European citizens who are fully vaccinated, as well as those with negative Covid certificates, to visit Goa. I hope that we will get permission and that tourism stakeholders will benefit from this decision, ”said Mr Lobo.

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