01 October 2008

Indian tourism showing glowing results

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The Indian government has confirmed India is attracting record numbers of international tourists despite the current economic climate and high fuel prices, reports the Press Trust of India.

The Secretary of Tourism Sheelbhadra Banerjee said in his address at the 57th Indian Travel Congress and Agents Association of India (TAAI) Convention that Indian tourism had grown 10.4 per cent in the first half of this year.

He also said there was a 26 per cent growth from Eastern Europe, 22 per cent growth from Australasia, 24 per cent increase from East Asia and 37 per cent from Scandinavia.

British Ambassador for Overseas Business Lord Swraj Paul said the increased flights from the UK to India from 2001 (19 per week) to today (134 per week) has largely contributed to the growing capacity of the Indian tourism industry.

According to nstonline.com, the revenue from international tourism rose from US$2.6 billion in 1995 to US$3.6 billion in 2000, then to US$7.5 billion in 2005.  The percentage increase in foreign exchange earnings from tourism was 16.8 per cent in 2007.

International visitors to India must have an Indian visa to enter the country.  Indian tourist visas are usually valid for up to six months, and the visa holder is not allowed to work under the visa conditions.  For short-stay visits, tourists can also apply for a 15 day transit visa.

The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in India visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Worldwide Visa Bureau.

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