E-visa to India likely to be reinstated within next week, says Indian official at World Travel Mart in London – UKMALAYALEE

E-visa to India likely to be reinstated within next week, says Indian official at World Travel Mart in London

Wednesday 9 November 2022 8:02 AM UTC

The formal inauguration of the Indian Pavilion at World Travel Market 2022 in London was done by Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to UK in presence of Tourism Ministers of Kerala, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

LONDON Nov 9: India may reverse its policy to exclude British travellers from the eVisa scheme within weeks or even days, officials have told The Independent. The change of heart is expected to come ‘within weeks or even days’, according to an official from the Indian tourism Ministry.

At present the UK is in a small minority of nations whose citizens must apply in person for a visa. The process is far more expensive and time consuming than the online eVisa, and there is a long waiting list for appointment at Indian visa centres in the UK.

India suddenly changed its visa rules at the start of October, meaning visitors could no longer apply for a visa via specialist firms. Instead, travellers faced an in-person visit to one of nine processing centres.

At the time AITO warned its members stood to lose £10m of bookings from about 1,500 holidaymakers who would not be able to get visas in time for their trips.

Rakesh Kumar Verma, additional secretary at the Ministry of Tourism in India, told The Independent: “We are aware of this challenge, and it is under consideration at a very high level, and I am sure this will be addressed very soon.”

The original change to the visa regime was caused by a row between the UK and Indian governments about visa access rules for Indian nationals arriving here.

At WTM this week Indian tourism officials have been urging Brits to visit the country and stressing the need for early visa applications. However, they have privately admitted the dispute is hurting trade

The Indian High Commission says it has introduced “interim measures” including a doorstep service to speed up the visa application process said to have left millions of bookings at risk.

Speaking on a video on Twitter at the end of last week, Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami said the number of visa applications now being dealt with for travel to the country from the UK had doubled from 20,000 a month to 40,000 as a result of changes being made to the booking system in October. A new visa processing centre has already opened in Glasgow and another opens in Marylebone, London on November 1 to speed up the process after the destination stopped e-visas and demanded all applications be made in person.

India participates in WTM 2022, London to step up recovery of inbound tourism

With a view to step up recovery of inbound tourism to pre-pandemic level, the Ministry of Tourism is participating at World Travel Market (WTM) 2022 from November 7-9 in London which is one of the largest international travel exhibitions.

The theme of this year’s exhibition is ‘The Future of Travel Starts Now’.

The formal inauguration of the Indian Pavilion was done by Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to UK in presence of Tourism Ministers of Kerala, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

During the day, Incredible India organized various Cultural Performances, Yoga Sessions and the Tourism Secretary attended the session on “Growing Consumer Demand for Responsible Tourism” held at Future Stage and “Preparing for the next crisis: Reaching for long term sustainability” held at Sustainability Stage, WTM venue.

The highlights of India`s participation in WTM on the first day were India Evening at Copper Chimney, WestField Mall. The invitees to India Evening were members of Travel Trade from India and UK and India Diaspora. India Evening on 7th November, 2022 witnessed the participation of several Tourism Ministers and Secretaries of various State Governments participating in WTM 2022. The India Evening provided a platform for interaction and discussion to promote India as a multi product and around the year destination with sustainability.

Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh, while delivering the welcome remarks at the India Evening, emphasised the priorities and objective of the Ministry of Tourism to showcase the diverse tourism products and services, including Medical Value travel and wellness, luxury trains and the gamut of tourism products to the international business.

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