Category Archives: Visa

Travel Wedding Show to connect exhibitors with 60 wedding planners and buyers in Mumbai

Slated to take place between July 13 and 14, 2019, at The Westin Mumbai Garden City, the exclusive Travel Wedding Show will connect the travel trade and the wedding fraternity. One-on-one meetings will be held with more than 35 wedding planners on day-one and more than 30 wedding specialists on day-two. Travel Wedding Show is a table-top event that gives exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products and services, demonstrate their expertise and increase awareness about their product, generating sales from a qualified audience with maximum exposure. India’s only B2B wedding show, the event offers unrivalled inspiration and ideas for every style of wedding, with an opportunity for buyers to meet carefully hand-picked wedding planners in a closed-door, professional business environment through pre-scheduled meetings. Speaking about the success of the show year in, year out, Sarika Bhambani Rawal, Vice President, Travel Wedding Show, says, “The show continues to make headway in connecting the right partners to take the industry forward. At each edition of Travel Wedding Show, buyers and exhibitors have been able to make good connections and build their business, sowing the seeds for progress.” Last year, Travel Wedding Show concluded with over 1800 meetings, where representatives from hotels and tourism boards exhibited their products for the wedding tourism industry.

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Sri Lanka continues visa-on-arrival for Indian nationals

Chamari Rodrigo, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, has said that the visa-on-arrival scheme for visitors of Indian nationality continues undisturbed. A written statement from the Consulate states, ‘We have contacted relevant officials of Sri Lanka Immigration and they too have confirmed that there is no such suspension of on arrival visa facility for Indian nationals.’ Sri Lanka had suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries after the devastating Easter suicide bombings. But it was unclear whether India was one of them. The country had started offering free visa on arrival to Indian travellers as part of the its efforts to promote tourism starting May 1, 2019 for six months in its initial run. This scheme was aimed at a total of 36 countries that include India as well as Pakistan. The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India along with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) have started taking measures to ensure that tourists return to the island nation soon. They have already met two travel trade associations – Travel Agents Association Of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) – and will soon be meeting the travel trade as well. Rodrigo said, “The country’s security situation now is normal, stability reigns across the country and children are back to school. However, it has had a direct impact to tourism and we have taken some measures to help revive the industry.” In 2017, Sri Lanka saw 3,83,000 Indian nations visiting the country. In 2018, this number jumped to 426,000 but still falling short of their targeted 450,000. Sri Lanka is looking to promote the destination for weddings and …

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TAT confirms visa on arrival fee waiver extended till October

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that the Royal Thai Government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries for another six months, until 31 October, stated an official statement dated, May 2, 2019. The decision was announced in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on April 30, reasoning it as a measure to stimulate and promote tourism as well as to enhance the kingdom’s attractiveness among foreign visitors. Citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for not more than 15 days. The government first approved the visa-on-arrival fee waiver from November 15, 2018, to  January 14, 2019, and further extended the measure to April 30.

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Thailand extends visa fee waiver till April end

The Government of Thailand has decided to extend the waiver on the 2000-baht visa-on-arrival fee for Indian nationals till April end to boost tourism in the country. The waiver was set to end early January, but the cabinet decided to extend it to allow foreign tourists to Thailand during the Chinese New Year in February and the Songkran festival in the middle of April.

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Malaysia exempts Indian tourists from visa from January 1 to December 31, 2019

Incumbent Minister of Home Affairs, Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin has exempted Indian tourists from the requirement of visa under subsection 2(1) of the Passports Act 1966. The order, which may be cited as Passports (Exemption of Visa to Tourist Who is Citizen of India) Order 2019, has effect for the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. However, the order is subject to some conditions mentioned below: (a) The tourist shall be registered in the electronic travel registration and information system provided by the Director General. (b) The tourist shall travel to Malaysia within three months after he is registered in the electronic travel registration. (c) The period of visit of the tourist is limited to fifteen days only and shall not be extended. (d) The tourist shall enter and exit from Malaysia only through the authorised airports as gazetted under subsection 5(1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 [Act 155] or through immigration control posts. (e) The tourist is not allowed to apply for any other passes under the Immigration Regulations 1963. (f) The tourist shall have a travel air ticket back direct to India or a travel air ticket to any country if he/she travels by air. (g) The tourist shall, on arrival, produce proof of sufficient pocket-money, credit card or bank card and produce his itinerary in Malaysia. (h) The tourist is allowed to re-register to enter Malaysia after the period of three months from the date he/she leaves.  

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India extends e-visa facility for conference and medical attendants from China

India has further liberalised visa regime for Chinese nationals by extending e-visa facility for the conference and medical attendants as part of its efforts to attract more tourists from China. Previously those attending conferences in India needed to get clearances from New Delhi to get visas. The Conference Visa will be issued for those who intend to travel to India to attend conference/seminar/workshop organised by Ministry or Department of Government of India, State Departments or Union Territories, Administration and their subordinate/attached organizations and PSUs, the Indian embassy said in a statement. The documents required included scanned bio-page of passport showing the photograph and details, invitation from organisation. It also needs political clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs, the statement said. The e-Medical Attendant Visa will be issued for those who wish to travel as attendant to e-Medical visa holder. The e-visa facility is now available for Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa, e-Medical Visa, e-Medical Attendant Visa and e-Conference Visa, it added. Despite special measures like e-visas, only 2.4 lakh Chinese tourists visited India last year against 14 lakh Indians visiting China. Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons, accompanied by about 20 Indian tour operators, conducted special campaigns in Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai in August as part of India’s efforts to attract more Chinese tourists to the country. Source: PTI

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Thomas Cook introduces Forex Card mobile app

Thomas Cook (India) has unveiled a series of innovative mobile-first initiatives: the thomascook.in Holidays, Visa & Forex Online Stores and Apps, iLead-a CRM-integrated Holiday Sales App, Tour Manager App and customer self-service App, Click2Book for business travellers, an advanced web-technology platform Astra, robotics and machine learning, Voyager-a customised holiday bundler, etc. In a strategic move to empower the new age, mobile-first Indian traveller, the company has launched the Thomas Cook Borderless App. The first-of-its-kind app enables its multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Forex Card users to access and manage their Borderless Prepaid Card account anywhere, anytime, from the convenience of a smartphone. Kailash Gupta, Senior Vice President & Head, Payment Solutions Thomas Cook (India), said, “In our digital focus to empower our travellers, we have launched a dedicated app for our Borderless multi-currency prepaid card users. The app, with its real time services, will significantly improve customer experience and enhance convenience and safety-security.”

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Ethiopia initiates e-visa service

The Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines has recently launched an e-visa service for all international visitors to Ethiopia. The e-visa is processed and issued online on a single webpage where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online. Once the application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorising them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa. Regarding the newly revamped service, Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines, remarked, “Ethiopia, the oldest independent civilisation in Africa and one of the oldest in the world, is endowed with historical places, natural beauty, colourful and diverse cultural activities and various endemic wild animals which are of great interest to international tourists. However, we have not made best use of these natural resources to attract large number of tourists. To this effect, this project is part of a new national initiative to transform the tourism sector in the country.” Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director, Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs, commented, “We are glad that we have been working together with Ethiopian Airlines for the effective implementation of e-visa facilities at Bole International Airport. Now international visitors to Ethiopia, from any country in the world will make use of this service.”  

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Israel lowers visa fee to INR 1,100 for Indian travellers

Israel has reduced its visa fee to INR 1,100 from its previous INR 1,700 charge for Indian citizens.  The move is aimed to encourage more Indian travellers to visit the country. VFS Global currently offers visa processing services for Israeli visas in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Centres will soon open in Hyderabad and Kolkata to service the residents in these cities, who will not be required to send their documents to the Consulates in Mumbai and Bengaluru or the Embassy in New Delhi. The revised application fee is on the B2 visa category, where a visit to Israel is for purposes including business, meeting or conference or tourism. Commenting on the initiatives, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines, said, “We are happy to announce the reduction in visa fees for Indian travellers with immediate effect. I am confident that this move will encourage more people to choose Israel as a holiday destination and boost inbound numbers from India. With the ease in visa norms and Fast Track visa processing incorporated earlier this year, we have seen an increase in travel and I am confident that the revised visa fees will help grow these numbers. Besides this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process.” He also added, “We have seen tremendous growth in the number of tourists from India in the last three years and 2017 has been the best year so far with close to 60,000 visitors. Our inbound figures have already recorded an increase of 27 per cent (approximately 19,000 travellers) in Indian tourist arrivals from January to April as compared to the same …

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BLS to support Sopra Steria in processing applications for UK

United Kingdom Visas & Immigration, (UKVI), a division of the UK Home Office, responsible for deciding who can visit and stay within the UK, has awarded Sopra Steria a new contract to enable visa renewals for those individuals who are already in the UK. BLS International Services Limited will be supporting Sopra Steria and UKVI by establishing and delivering some of the key value-added services under the contract. BLS International Services Limited currently handles approximately 12 million visa applications annually across its global network. It will now assist in the processing applications for permission to remain in the UK on behalf of the Home Office. Joint Managing Director of BLS International, Shikhar Aggarwal comments, “We are privileged to be part of this new partnership in the United Kingdom. It reinforces our company’s position within the UK and significantly enhances our stature as a leading service partner to client Governments worldwide. We will deploy our world class solution to provide an innovative and convenient service to the UK Home Office and its applicants.”

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