In a bid to attract more tourists from China, New Delhi has relaxed e-visa rules for Chinese travellers, timing it to coincide with the visit of President Xi Jinping to India, the Indian embassy here said on Saturday (October 12).
Xi arrived in the historic coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu on Friday (October 11) for the second informal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India has announced five-year tourist e-visa with multiple entry facility for Chinese travellers, coinciding with the current visit of President Xi in a bid to attract more tourists, the embassy said in a press release.
“It is anticipated that this unilateral liberalisation of e-TV for Chinese nationals will further enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and encourage more Chinese tourists to choose India as a destination for tourism purposes,” it said.
India has already been providing e-visa facility for Chinese tourists for some time. But the number of Chinese visitors has not been increased much. Last year only 2.5 lakh Chinese visited India against 7.5 Indians who toured China.
Now the e-visa facility has been further liberalised for Chinese nationals. On Friday, India announced to include Chinese nationals in the five-year e-facility, which is being provided to tourists from a large number countries, officials here said.
The visa fee for the five-year multiple entry will be USD 80, the release said. In addition, it has also been decided that prospective tourists can avail single entry 30-day validity e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) at a reduced visa fee of USD 25. For a 30-day e-TV during the months of April to June, the visa fee will be only USD 10, it said.
The one year multiple entry e-TV will continue to be offered but at a reduced visa fee of USD 40, the release said. Besides, the existing e-medical visa, e-conference visa and the one-year multiple entry e-business visa will continue to be issued from the online platform of Indian visas.
A number of countries are making efforts to woo Chinese visitors as they form the largest chunk of tourists in the world. Last year, about 150 million Chinese nationals made outbound trips to various parts of world.