In an attempt to boost medical tourism and allure more business travellers, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday extended the scope of e-tourist visa to incorporate purposes such as short-term medical trips, business excursions and meetings.
With the amplified scope, the e-tourist visa will be rechristened as e-visa and should permit the holder double passages for tourism and business purposes and three passages for medical treatment. In addition to the cabinet decision, cleared by the Modi government, the e-visa plan will be extended to eight more nations, taking the aggregate number of countries that appreciate the office to 158. E-visa will now have a legitimacy of 60 days and can be applied before four months prior to the visit.
“The Union Cabinet has given its endorsement for progression, rearrangements and legitimisation of the current visa administration in India and incremental changes in the visa arrangement chosen by the service of home issues in interview with different partners,” said a government release.
Moreover, the government of India for the first time has included seaports in the list of designated entry points under the e-visa scheme. Global travellers can now immigrate with e-visas at Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Goa and Mangalore sea ports. These are in addition to the 16 designated airports from where e-visa holders can enter India.
“The endorsement will encourage passage of outsiders for tourism, business and restorative purposes. This is relied upon to fortify financial development, increment profit from fare of administrations like tourism, restorative esteem travel and go because of business and to make ‘Ability India’, ‘Computerized India’, ‘Make in India’ and other such leader activities of the legislature fruitful,” it included.
International travellers, business people or individuals coming for medical treatments or to go to conferences will be secured under the new class of visa, which was initially mooted by the Commerce Ministry taking into account a recommendation by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to support administrational exchange.
India’s medical tourism is estimated at USD 3 billion and is predicted to reach USD 7-8 billion by 2020. In addition, some of the factors responsible for the surge in foreign tourist arrivals to India are the positive outlook of the economy, air connectivity and ease of getting visa. Thus, the new policy will definitely be a boost to the tourism earnings of the country in the future.