Chinese visits to India to keep growing despite reports of visa delays

By Wang Yi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/14 21:07:52

Visitors at Taj Mahal, India in November 2018 Photo: IC

More Chinese people are likely to visit India as both sides promote people-to-people exchanges and trade, even though some Chinese delegations' visas have reportedly been delayed, said analysts.

India may try to show a "certain political attitude" toward China by delaying visas, but the case will not jeopardize cooperation and interaction between the two major economies, the analysts said.

A series of "Incredible India Tourism Promotion Roadshows" were held from Tuesday to Thursday by Indian agencies in Southwest China. The events followed India's relaxation of visa conditions for Chinese travelers in October.

India in October announced that tourist visa requirements for Chinese citizens would be significantly relaxed and fees cut to attract more tourism from China.

Cultural and tourism cooperation are major aspects of the relationship and people-to-people exchanges of the two countries, said Vikram Misri, India's Ambassador to China, at a promotion event in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Wednesday, according to

Chinese people make roughly 280,000 visits to India each year, and around 800,000 trips are made by Indian people to China, said Misri. 

The latest move, following India's relaxation of visa conditions in October, will attract more Chinese tourists to India, said Xu Xiaolei, manager of marketing at China's CYTS Tours Holding Co.

In the first three quarters, Chinese visitor arrivals in India increased 21 percent year-on-year, data from Xu's company showed.

Chinese visitor arrivals in India via China's leading online travel agency Ctrip increased 80 percent year-on-year in the first half year, according to statistics of the company.

"It will be interesting to explore the mysterious local culture in India," a white-collar worker surnamed Lu in Beijing told the Global Times, admitting that she does have concerns over safety issues.

Visits to India of at least five delegations from China, which had been planned this month, have had visa delays, reported the on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The delegations are mostly from provincial governments across China, including one from various universities. The visits were organized as part of enhanced contacts, the report said.

"I was a bit surprised about the news, because in my view, India is taking measures to attract more Chinese tourists, including improving facilities and services," Xu said.

Liu Xiaoxue, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' National Institute of International Strategy, noted that India has taken a more complicated attitude toward Chinese visitors with public affairs passports.

"For individuals with private passports, India is relaxing the rules, but for delegations with public affairs passports, the visa procedure is more complicated and stricter," Liu said.

The discrepancy shows a certain discontent toward China, which is still controlled within a limited range. The situation isn't likely ruin the major cooperation trend between the two countries, Liu added.


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