India relaxes visa rules to attract more Chinese visitors, exchanges

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/13 21:09:36

Photo: IC

India announced that tourist visa requirement for Chinese citizens are being significantly relaxed and fees are being cut to attract more tourism from China, which has received a mixed feedback in the country.

According to a press release from the Embassy of India in Beijing, from October, the maximum duration of the visa will be extended to five years, compared with one year previously. The application and processing fees for visas are also significantly reduced, with the fee for a multiple-entry one-year visa reduced to $40 from $80, and the fee for a 30-day single-entry visa is set at $25. For the off-season from April to June, tourists can opt to apply for a 30-day e-visa costing as little as $10. 

The changes aim to "increase exchanges between Indian and Chinese people" and encourage more tourists from China to choose India as a destination for tourist purposes, the press release said. 

"The new visa policy is good news, and it will be interesting to explore the local food in India, and the culture, which has always been mysterious to me," a white-collar worker surnamed Li in Beijing said. 

The announcement was welcomed with enthusiasm on Chinese social media. As of Sunday, India's visa relaxation had become a top-trending topic on Chinese social media Sina Weibo. 

But many Weibo users still expressed concerns over food sanitation and safety issues for female tourists. 

India has been trying to lure more tourists from China for many years. In 2014, India introduced e-visas to encourage tourists internationally. However, the number of Chinese tourists visiting India has not increased much. In 2018, almost 150 million Chinese citizens made outbound trips, according to statistics from the China Tourism Academy, but the number visiting India was only 250,000.


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